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Sidelines: Eastwood sophomore Shimel has drive

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    Alyssa Shimel started playing as a young child and hopes some day to compete on the LPGA Tour.

    <The Blade/Andy Morrison
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Alyssa Shimel started playing as a young child and hopes some day to compete on the LPGA Tour.

The Blade/Andy Morrison
Enlarge | Buy This Image

PEMBERVILLE Eastwood sophomore Alyssa Shimel stood alongside Se Ri Pak during the awards ceremonies at the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic in July and received a bouquet of roses.

Shimel, who is among the most talented female high school golfers in the area, dreams of one day raising the tournament cup awarded to Pak, a five-time champion of the event. On that day, Shimel was recognized for her victory at the Farr Girls Junior Amateur, a precursor to the LPGA tournament at Highland Meadows.

It was awesome, Shimel said. I ve been playing in it for five years. I had worked for that all summer. When it finally happened it was pretty cool. I received roses along with the winner of the Farr.

Last fall, Shimel shot 78-75-153 at the state tournament in Columbus and tied for fourth as a freshman. Shimel has been medalist at five events so far this fall season.

She says she has dreamed of joining the LPGA since she was very young.

I ve always wanted to become a pro golfer, Shimel said. I definitely want to play in college. A big Division Icollege would be nice.

The 15-year-old already has received inquiries from Illinois and Michigan.

Shimel carded an even-par 72 round as part of her Farr victory and she has carried that momentum into the high school season.

Shimel is averaging 38.1 per nine holes so far this fall. She has won both 18-hole events she has competed in, carding rounds of 72 in each tournament. She shot 1-under par to win at Auglaize Golf Club.


Eastwood sophomore Alyssa Shimel has won two invitationals this season and has a nine-hole average of 38.1. She won the Jamie Farr Girls Junior Amateur in July.


Eastwood girls golf coach JoshJaworski said Shimel s best asset is her poise.

For being a sophomore, she is very mature, Jaworski said. She s aggressive and smart. She s not afraid to hit the shot when she needs to.

She could eclipse anything that has happened at Eastwood as far as golf goes. Only time will tell.

Shimel won the Defiance and Lima invitationals. She has been medalist at three other events. She shot 40 at Maumee Bay, 37 at Ottawa Park and 38 at Red Hawk Run.

She is playing extremely solid right now, Jaworski said.

A rigorous and individualized workout program in the offseason has helped Shimel gain 20 yards on her drive and boosted her confidence.

It is a workout program that I did three days a week before school during the off eason, she said.

From March until June, Shimel would arrive at the Eastwood weight room at 6 in the morning, before the first school bell rang.

Shimel credited Brian Sabo, the school s physical education teacher and weight trainer, for developing a specialized program tailored to honing her golf skills.

He did a lot of research on golf workouts and he built a program for me, Shimel said. I don t do any running. It s all weights and balance work. I ll stand on one foot on an air pad and it puts you off balance.

Shimel also does one-legged squats on a raised block.

That speaks volumes for how motivated she is, Jaworski said. Her focus is to play at the top level. She definitely has added some distance with her work in the off season.

The hour-long workouts through the end of winter and beginning of summer have paid huge dividends.

I saw results almost immediately. I got pretty excited, Shimel said.

Her father, Jeff, has proven equally dedicated, getting her involved in the sport at age 2. Heaccompanied Shimel to every workout.

He was there to make sure I did not get hurt, Shimel said. He was my spotter.

Jeff Shimel first took his daughter to the driving range when she was just a toddler.

I remember getting my first set of clubs for Christmas when I was 6, Alyssa said. I remember I had three clubs he cut down for me and he put grips on them. I loved it from the start.

The two pick vacation destinations based on whether the area has world-class courses.

We only like to go where they have nice golf courses, she said. This is something I can do with him forever. We go as often as we can.

They won a parent-child tournament when she was 7.

Ever since then I thought it was so cool, she said. We got a trophy for it and I ve loved to compete ever since then. My dad has helped me a lot.

Jaworski said qualifying for state is an extremely achievable goal for Shimel.

The sky is the limit for her. Her best golf could win the state. She has a shot at it, Jaworski said.

Experience from last season should give her an edge.

You learn a lot playing with others who are experienced, Shimel said. I d like to win the state tournament. Of course, there s a lot of pressure. But at least I can recall last year and what I learned. I can incorporate that into what to do this year. I now know what it is like and I ll be more prepared.

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