Golfer bounces back after offseason car crash

T. McCartney

Sam Findley and Rachel Ingle

The sound of sirens rang in senior Lanie DeHaven’s ears. The number seven meal from McDonald’s sat perfectly on her passenger seat. Following being waved on into oncoming traffic, the golfer was in shock after being t-boned on State Road 135.

This accident caused DeHaven to be sidelined for three months as she went through 12 physical therapy sessions to heal a bulging disc in her lower back. DeHaven struggled to start the season due to her offseason injury.

“The beginning of the season was when I was struggling the most,” DeHaven said. “As the months got longer and longer, I started to get nervous for the school season because I was still dealing with pain and recovery.”

Although the lower back injury was debilitating at first, the senior used this setback as motivation and eventually found her footing. DeHaven was able to improve as the season progressed.

“Coming into season just getting over an injury from being in a car wreck, I think that it has pushed me throughout the season,” DeHaven said. “It took some time to get through things with recovery, and I think going throughout the season, [it] has improved by just being out on the course.”

Luckily for DeHaven, as the season progressed, she was able to get back to her pre-injury self.

“As the season started to get going, I was starting to move pain-free and held my spot on the top. I think coming out of that injury has caused me to be a stronger person and player,” DeHaven said.

DeHaven’s improvements and comfort on the course resulted in her being Center Grove’s lowest-scoring golfer, leading the team to the MIC championship with a score of 76. The MIC championship was also the first time CG beat Carmel in the past five years.

“The highlight of my season was winning the MIC. Although I didn’t play my best, I am still super proud of the way that my teammates played. It was the first time we had beaten Carmel since 2015, and I think that shows how strong of a team we truly are,” DeHaven said.

Sophomore Camille Short, one of DeHaven’s teammates, said DeHaven has been a team leader.

“She’s really always been a leader since I’ve only been on the team for the last two years, but last year she was a really good person to look up to and this year as well,” Short said. “At the practice rounds for sectionals and regionals, she knew the courses really well, so she could show us around and how to play the different holes.”

As Center Grove and DeHaven head to Prairie View for the state finals, DeHaven knows her goals for the two-day competition.

“I have a few goals heading into state,” DeHaven said. “We’ve talked about things as a team, and we all would like that big trophy. I’m sure we can do it, but one of our main goals is to place in the top three. Individually, I would like to see myself in the top 10 throughout the two playing days.”

Even though DeHaven has been through a lot since her injury, she wants to use the experience to support and lead her team during her final high school season.

“The injury let me show how strong I am as a person, and I want to show that to the younger girls on the team,” DeHaven said. “I have grown as a leader throughout the season because going into the season, I already knew that being one of two seniors was already going to be something I had to take responsibility for. Our coach announced on the first day of practice that we had team leaders and I happened to be one of them. It made me grow personally because it made me realize that I need to set a good example for the younger kids.”