As much as swinging a golf club, Ashland senior Langley Sebastian enjoys the camaraderie of playing on a team.
Now she has a new one.
Sebastian, a stellar student, recently signed a letter of intent to continue her golf career at Transylvania University.
“I’m ecstatic,” Ashland coach Mark Hanni said of Sebastian’s opportunity with the Division III program. He described her as an ultimate team player.
“They are lucky to have Langley as a teammate,” Hanni said. “She has great personality. Kids are attracted to her. She’s just a natural leader.”
Sebastian joined Ashland’s golf program while in sixth grade and began playing tournaments as an eighth-grader.
“Larry Bailey was my middle school coach,” she said. “He made it fun and was the one that inspired me to play. That and the other girls on the team is why I fell in love with the sport.”
Her freshman season at regionals, Sebastian sliced 10 shots off her season average to help Ashland finish as team runner-up. It began a three-year run of State Tournament trips for the Tee-Cats.
Ashland fell short of advancing last fall despite taking second in region play. A KHSAA rule change limited team qualifiers to region champions. Individually, Ashland junior standout Kate Hanni was the Region 12 medalist and repeated as a first team All-Stater. Carley Cullop also represented Ashland in Bowling Green after placing eighth at the region level.
“It’s always been fun seeing my teammates do really well and achieve what they wanted to achieve,” Sebastian said. “It’s comforting. I love and support them. They support me. My wanting to play in college is the team atmosphere. It’s enjoyable.”
Sebastian saw continued improvement during her final high school season.
“In our first tournament Langley shot a personal best,” Mark Hanni said. “She was excited, and it springboarded from there.”
Sebastian shot her career tournament low round of 93 in Lexington Catholic’s invitational at High Point Golf Course.
“I had a back injury and was out for a couple of tournaments,” she said. “I came back and played better than I ever have.”
After regionals, Sebastian realized she wasn’t ready for her golf career to be over.
“I reached out to (coach) Travis York at Transylvania,” she said. “Coach Hanni had given me a blueprint on how to approach college coaches.”
Her academic record speaks for itself: 4.3 grade point average, 29 on ACT and No. 8 class ranking.
“(York) said I had a spot if I wanted to play,” Sebastian said. “He saw my scores and said I would fit really well on the team.”
Her high school coach agrees.
“I think Langley’s future is bright,” Hanni said. “She’s the kind who can help them down the road.”
Sebastian, who plans to study environmental science, has made several visits to the Transy campus and gotten to know some of the team members.
Mark Hanni said Sebastian will be missed at Ashland.
“Sorry to lose her. She was our leader,” he said.
Sebastian recalled an especially emotional moment at her signing ceremony. Her sophomore sister Lillian is defending region champion in the 100- and 200-meter dashes.
“We do everything together,” Langley said. “She’s been super upset about me going to college. She came up (at the signing). We kind of hugged it out and cried.”
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