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October 26, 2023

Bellendir driving to win as highly-competitive golfer

Sohana Singh
Coppell High School sophomore Alicia Bellendir has played on the CHS golf team for the past two years. Golf has been a part of Bellendir’s life since third grade.

With a focused mind and body, Coppell sophomore golfer Alicia Bellendir prepares herself to make the first shot. 

In a sport such as golf, perfection is near impossible to achieve. Nonetheless, Bellendir always strives to come as close as possible and always improve her craft.

“It doesn’t matter if she won, she’s never satisfied,” Coppell girls golf coach Gary Beyer said. “She’s the first to tell me what she did wrong and how she will improve it.”  

Bellendir started her athletic journey playing softball, but started playing golf in third grade when her younger sister, Elizabeth, decided to play the sport. She developed a love for the sport due to the competitive experience it provides.

“I like having competition where you don’t have to rely on other people, and you need a really strong mental game to succeed,” Alicia said.

According to Beyer, Alicia benefits from having her sister as a competitive partner. 

“She has someone right next to her every day pushing her to get better, because no big sister wants to be beaten by their little sister,” Beyer said.

Coppell High School sophomore Alicia Bellendir has played on the CHS golf team for the past two years. Golf has been a part of Bellendir’s life since third grade. (Sohana Singh)

From third to fifth grade, Alicia practiced golf with her sister and father, Todd Bellendi. In fifth grade, she began focusing all of her time on golf and started competing in tournaments with the support of her family. 

“My dad is always there helping my sister and I with our swings, and helping to keep us on track,” Alicia said. “My parents being there for me has helped a lot.”

The influence from her parents has helped her to grow to higher heights.

“Her parents are very competitive, but very supportive, coming to all tournaments and such,” Beyer said. “Your personality is formed based on your beliefs, your likes and dislikes and your upbringing, and she’s definitely a product of her competitive but very caring family structure.”

Part of Alicia’s growth can be accredited to having two senior mentors, Rylie Allison and Kirstin Angosta, in her freshman year, who helped to guide her through the shift to high school golf. Playing on a team of three freshmen and two seniors, the freshmen grew significantly in the span of just a year.

“The seniors gravitated towards Alicia as much as mentors and big sisters as just friends and teammates,” Beyer said. “It became a very level field where they all treated each other equally because the freshmen had to grow up quickly.”

Part of the challenge with golf is being able to overcome your own thoughts and doubts. Being under pressure and still being able to perform, blocking things out and focusing on the game, are the mentalities that allow Alicia to succeed.

“This game will destroy you – it’s a mental game once you get to the level that she is at,” Beyer said. “But, the game never seems too big for her; she always wants more competition, is never overwhelmed and never satisfied. She has what I call a wonderful poker face, where it’s really hard to tell if she’s playing well or not, and to me that’s the mark of a great golfer.”

Whether having a good game or a bad one, Alicia never lets her feelings or thoughts get the better of her.

“One time I asked her, ‘How are you doing?’ and even though she was going great, she just told me that she didn’t want to talk about the game or how she’s doing, she just wanted to play it as it was,” sophomore golfer Nethra Sheri said. “Whether it’s a good hole or a bad hole, she’s able to block it out and keep a stable mental capacity, thinking that the only thing that matters is the next hole.”

Alicia serves as a motivation, both for the team and for anyone outside. Her dedication, hard work, mentality and personality shine both on and off the field.

“She’s such a sweet girl, and definitely very motivational,” Sheri said. “She’s always positive, and that helps us to be positive as well, no matter what.”

Follow @CHSCampusNews and @sohanas_4841 on X.

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About the Contributor
Sohana Singh
Sohana Singh, Staff Photographer
Sohana Singh is a junior and a staff photographer for The Sidekick. She participates in robotics as a member of Technology Student Association at Coppell High School and plays the french horn for the Coppell Community Orchestra. Her favorite foods include sushi and Thai tea. Her favorite show is “Cowboy Bebop”, an anime series, while her favorite movie is “Inception”, though she had to watch it twice to understand. She enjoys reading classics, including Oliver Twist, Little Women, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. In her free time, she loves to skateboard, play the piano, and play video games. She enjoys listening to indie music, specifically by Arctic Monkeys and Saint Motel. Sohana has traveled to many interesting places, including Alaska, Spain, and Greece. She loves to sightsee and take pictures. In the future, she hopes to pursue engineering with interests in creating and innovating. She especially enjoys learning about how things work. Through being a staff member of The Sidekick, she hopes to explore her interests and grow as a journalist. You can contact Sohana at [email protected] or follow her on Instagram @sohana_4841.

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