Local senior collegiate athlete Peyton Penny cherishes SAA Player of the Week honors

Gerren Smith
Staff Writer

The crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the entire sports nation on the levels of high school, college and professional. For all senior student-athletes, they’ve been affected the most during this outbreak situation.
It’s a devastating time in their lives to not have a chance to compete during the most memorable season of their athletic careers. But for local collegiate senior athlete Peyton Penny, she achieved one final honor as a member of the Hendrix College women’s golf team. Penny, a native of Magnet Cove was named the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) Player of the Week honors. She was amongst 31 Hendrix College student-athletes selected that participated in spring sports. It was a school record for the Hendrix College athletic program to receive the award.
Penny has been a part of the women’s golf team at Hendrix College since her freshman season. She has achieved many honors throughout her collegiate golf career as an asset to the Hendrix College athletic program.
According to the sports information department at Hendrix College, Penny was named to the Southern Athletic Association Academic Honor Roll and selected to the SAA All-Sportsmanship Team multiple times. During the 2016-17 golf season, Penny attempted 1,199 shots over eight rounds for an average of 149.9 and had a low round of 137 against Rhodes College.
She appeared in six tournaments and played 10 rounds with an average of 152.7—registered a season-low round of 135 (Dual at Centenary) during the 2017-18 season.
Penny competed in three tournaments and played four rounds with an average of 144.4 with a season-low round of 135 in the Rhodes Classic in the 2018-19 season.
During this past season, 2019-20, she appeared in two tournaments and played four rounds with an average of 121.5 and recorded a season-low round of 115 during the Rhodes Fall Invitational.
Since her senior season was cut short, Penny felt it was truly an honor to receive player of the week accolades for Hendrix College. She looked forward to her senior season, but didn’t expect a major crisis to occur that would affect the entire nation.
“Unfortunately I didn’t expect to get any awards while I was looking forward to playing golf my last semester. It’s definitely something I’m not going to get back. It is upsetting since I’m a senior. For me this is it,” Penny said.
It’s unfortunate many student-athletes all across the nation have been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) with the cancelation of their spring sports seasons. For many collegiate athletes it has been a devastating situation, but Penny takes this time to appreciate her college experience.
She will cherish many memories of meeting new friends and enjoying time with teammates. Penny feels the sport of golf has impacted her life and believes the experience was rewarding, she said.
“It’s been wonderful and I’ve met so many friends. Playing golf has really helped me to be more patient and work hard at something and work to achieve bigger goals and being a leader to others,” Penny said.
She wants to thank her parents, friends and head golf coach Andrew Thames for all the support they’ve shown throughout the years while participating in the athletic program at Hendrix College.
The SAA released a statement concerning the cancellation of its spring sports seasons due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
“The Southern Athletic Association (SAA) Presidents Council met with regards to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Based on the advice received from federal and state public health and governmental authorities, with the primary concern being the health and well-being of our campus communities, the SAA Presidents concluded that all conference competition, which includes all SAA spring championships and awards, will be suspended effective Friday, March 20. The SAA has requested an additional year of eligibility waiver from the NCAA for all spring sport student-athletes affected by this nation-wide health crisis. For more information on the Southern Athletic Association, please visit www.SAA-Sports.com.”
Penny is majoring in psychology and will graduate in May from Hendrix College. After graduation, she plans to go to graduate school.
Penny was a multiple-sport athlete at Magnet Cove. She was a member of the golf, basketball, track and field and dance teams at Magnet Cove.