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College Signing: Jackson golfer Taryn Overstreet signs with Drury

Not many high school athletes are able to earn all-state honors and help their team earn a state plaque in their career, but senior Taryn Overstreet did it three times at two different schools.

“I’m going to look back at [my high school career] and know I actually did something,” Overstreet said. “My name is on two plaques at Notre Dame, but my name is also going to be in the gym. No matter where my kids go to school, they are going to see my name at Notre Dame and Jackson.”

Overstreet first noticed her name in Notre Dame’s gym when she was attending a volleyball game. Overstreet’s friends took notice to one of the championship banners with her name on it.

“They were like, ‘Why is your name on that board up there?’” Overstreet recalled. “I was like, ‘Well I used to golf here. We won state — I think twice or something.’ It’s just going to be there, and I can’t help it.”

Overstreet won back-to-back Class 1 State Championships with the Cape Notre Dame girls golf team as an underclassmen and placed in the top six each time.

Overstreet finished in sixth place with a score of 158 as a freshman and tied for fifth her sophomore year with an 83.

“[Winning state] definitely boosts your confidence because it is a big deal,” Overstreet said. “I was more trying to beat Sarah [Bell] and Allison [Bray] — there was more competition between our team than all the other people [at state].”

Two years after transferring from Notre Dame to Jackson, Overstreet helped the Indians take third in the Class 2 State Championship Tournament with an 18th-place finish as a senior. She scored a 166 to do so.

Overstreet was also able to accomplish these state tournament performances with her two sisters Sarah Bell and Ella Overstreet. Taryn and Bell, a two-time individual state champion and is now playing collegiately at Oral Roberts, were teammates at Notre Dame, while Taryn and Ella played together this season at Jackson.

“Playing with [Ella] is fine — we do it every summer and it’s no different,” Overstreet said. “There’s definitely more competition. During two bigger tournaments she did better than I did, but during our matches it was pretty close. It’s fun competition.”

Overstreet will now be following her sister’s footsteps by being a college golfer as she signed with Drury University on Nov. 14. She is also now the first golfer in the Jackson girls golf’s program history to sign with a college.

“It felt like I finally accomplished my goal,” Overstreet said. “I was putting in all of that hard work, and it wasn’t just for nothing. … [Drury] is a smaller school, and they let you have your freedom. It’s also a top academic school.”

Overstreet had Division-I level schools recruiting her as well, but Taryn was sold on Drury once she met with the team’s head coach Lisa Tinkler. Overstreet noticed how much Tinkler cared about the program.

Overstreet also enjoys the Springfield area as well as the atmosphere that comes with playing at the D-II level, which will allow her to focus on her studies.

“[Springfield] isn’t too far away from home because I don’t want to be too far from home,” Overstreet said. “I want to be an optometrist, so I picked a D-II school so I could study Pre-Med and major in biology. I don’t have to feel like golf is the only thing I’m focused on in college.’

Overstreet first started playing golf when she was 11-years-old, and she became more involved with the sport as she grew older. Most of Overstreet’s family members are avid golfers, so when her father and older siblings were on the golf course, she figured she would join them.

“The little family competition ended up getting really serious, and then we all just got super serious with golf,” Overstreet said. “[My older siblings] going to college really inspired me to keep going at it. There’s probably more competition between our family than like an actual tournament.”

Nick McNeal covers high school sports, college sports and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Cape Girardeau County for the past five years. He can be reached at cbjsports@socket. net.

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