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Double Duty: Multi-talented Reagan Folk

Courtesy: Joe Choynski

MADISON, Ga. — Finding an activity in life that you both truly enjoy and excel at is no mean feat; some people take years to find their “calling,” and others never do. We celebrate those that discover their talents early in life, knowing that it can help provide a path towards fulfillment, both internally and externally.

Courtesy: Joe Choynski

But what if it’s not just one activity? What if it’s two? If dedication is critical to success, surely a decision has to be made on where to marshall one’s resources…so which path does one follow? If a person really wants to excel at either…it’s impossible to do both, right?

Not according to Reagan Folk, it’s not.

A highly successful dual-sport freshman at Morgan County High School, Reagan somehow manages to win awards and accolades in both golf and volleyball, while maintaining a straight-A grade average. “It’s difficult being a successful student athlete, let alone being a successful dual-sport student athlete,” says mom Sara. “She’s often rushing from one sport practice to another on the same day, doing homework and studying in the car on the way to and from practices…followed by late dinners and late nights at home, completing the homework that didn’t get finished in the car…she really pushes herself.”

It’s a drive that’s reflected in Reagan’s philosophy on competition: “Don’t ever walk away from competition knowing you didn’t give 100% effort.” Her conviction in those words is evident in not just the long list of victories she’s achieved in both sports, but her sparkling academic record as well; she’s currently ranked 9th in her class, excels in advanced math and science, and is a member of the National Junior Honor Society.

For such an obviously motivated and active person, Reagan surprisingly describes herself as “typically pretty easy-going.” “I’m a hard worker,” she explains, “but I also like to be silly and have fun. I give it my everything when I practice, but then I also enjoy downtime with my family after long days of competing.”

And it’s through her close family connectivity that the seeds of her athletic career were planted. “I tried lots of different sports and activities growing up,” recounts Reagan. “None really stuck until my dad put a golf club in my hand when I was 7 years old, and my golf game just grew from there. My mom played volleyball, and we thought it would be a fun team sport for me to play in addition to golf. One is more individually-focused, and the other more team-oriented, but golf and volleyball complement each other very well.”

Courtesy: Joe Choynski

Though she’s just entering high school this coming fall, Reagan already has an impressive amount of experience in both sports. She’s played on the school golf team for the past three years, and individual tournament golf for the past seven; on the volleyball side of the ledger, she’s played on a club team for three years, and two years on her school team.

Of course, along with the playing comes training — a lot of it. “I work out with a personal trainer a couple times a week,” explains Reagan. “Most of the exercises focus on core strength, which is important in both golf and volleyball. I try to get to the golf course at least a couple times a week to practice. During volleyball season, we train 2-3 days a week, usually running drills. And even when I’m at home, I practice volleyball with my sister in the driveway.”

Between the two disciplines, there are obviously a number of instructors, coaches and trainers that have assisted Reagan on her athletic journey…but there’s one particular person that she credits with her success. “My dad has always been my main coach,” she grins. “I appreciate that he always believes in me, no matter what. He’s always willing to give up his time to help me.”

So what does she enjoy, in particular, about each sport? “Other than winning a tournament, my favorite part of golf is hitting the perfect shot,” she reflects. “It doesn’t happen often because it’s so difficult to do, but there’s no feeling like it. My favorite part of volleyball is being part of a team and working together to win; my teammates are always there to encourage me when I need it.”

And Reagan has found her athletic pursuits to be rewarding far beyond the gratification of competition. “I compete in tournament golf with some players that have disabilities, and I’ve come to really admire their strength and determination. Golf is the hardest game to play — and for these girls to overcome their challenges and be great competitive players is inspirational to me.”

Courtesy: Joe Choynski

Reagan is already planning to continue golf after graduation; she’s not sure what college she’d like to play for, but she’d prefer to stay in the Southeast, where she’s close to home — and her strongest fan base. “We do all we can to support her,” says dad Ryan. “Through her hard work and determination, Reagan is excelling in her academics and both sports.” He smiles proudly. “We couldn’t be more proud of her, and are excited to see what her future brings!”

_________________________________________

SIDEBAR:
A Quick Overview of Reagan Folk’s Athletic Career(s)

GOLF
Started playing tournament golf at 8 years old
First hole-in-one at age 13
Earned 2019 Player of the Year, Girls 12-14, on the Southeastern Junior Golf Tour (SJGT), and has won numerous other awards and accolades over the years
Home course is Cuscowilla
Elite Junior at The Reynolds Kingdom of Golf
Played middle school golf in 6th and 7th grade
Invited to play on the high school golf team as an 8th grader for the 2019-2020 school year
Scores from her most recent rounds of golf: 79, 78, 80 and 75

VOLLEYBALL
Starting Libero on her club team the past 3 years
Starting Libero on her middle school team the past 2 years
Helped lead her middle school team to be the 2019 Regional Champions, beating out Athens Academy, Oconee County and Malcolm Bridge
Part of the middle school team that earned spots in the 2018 and 2019 State Championships
Will be trying out for the Morgan County High School volleyball team this fall

You can watch her golf and volleyball videos on her YouTube channel – http://bit.ly/rafytc.

This is an unedited user writing submission. The views, information, or opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Best Version Media or its employees.

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