Fairland’s Speed signs with SSU women’s golf

PROCTORVILLE — To be a part of an inaugural championship-winning unit already speaks a great deal to one’s talent level — especially when that individual is a senior on said unit.

For Fairland’s Addi Speed, 2019 was a banner year.

Speed was able to contribute to the success of both units as the Dragons’ girls golf squad won the first-ever Ohio Valley Conference Girls Golf championship in just its second year as a full team, and was named to the all-OVC Tournament Team as a result.

That, along with Speed’s responsibilities outside of the athletic realm, were more than enough for Dave Hopkins to give Speed the opportunity to join Shawnee State’s women’s golf program for the 2020-21 season on forward.

“I’ve played golf my whole life, and I’m just grateful to be a part of the team at Shawnee State,” Speed said. “I love (Dave) Hopkins. He is so nice, and I’m excited to play for him.”

As a senior at Fairland, Speed made the 2019 Division II Southeast District Honorable Mention squad for her play on the golf course.

The multi-sport athlete shot a 93 to tie for fifth overall in the OVC championship individually, leading to the aforementioned all-OVC Tournament honors while allowing the Lady Dragons to edge Gallia Academy by a single stroke (364-365) en route to the school’s first-ever crown.

“Playing golf in high school meant a lot to me because I got to represent my school along with my team in the first girls conference championship in school history,” Speed said. “Our team got along so well, and we were all pretty close.”

Individually, Speed improved her score at the Division II Southeast District sectional level, dropping her overall stroke by 17.

After shooting a 113 as a freshman for a 28th-place finish, Speed improved dramatically as a sophomore, shooting a 98 en route to a 22nd-place showing.

She then followed up that dramatic improvement by posting a 96 to obtain a sixth-place finish as a junior, then shot a 104 to place in a tie for 14th in the Southeast District field.

In volleyball, Speed was a contributor to a Fairland program that won 15 games during her junior year in 2018.

Her father, Nathan Speed — who coached the team during the 2018 campaign while remaining as the school’s head boys basketball coach during this time — led the program to a 12-win improvement from the year prior.

“My teammates and I pushed each other to get better, and we helped each other out along the way,” Speed said. “I think that balancing school and sports helped me learn how to make the most of my time in each area.”

Speed, however, wasn’t just a leader athletically.

A member of Fairland’s student council and the editor of the school yearbook, the senior proved herself as a talented individual in multiple facets.

Shawnee State’s appeal in multiple disciplines was, after all, what impacted the future Pre-Med major to SSU.

“For me, Shawnee State offers so much,” Speed said. “They have great programs and a beautiful campus. It inspired me how much Coach Hopkins cared about the sport and his players.”

At Shawnee State, Speed will play alongside fellow OVC competitor in Chesapeake’s Alaina Collins.

The pair, who consider each other to be great friends, plan to not only be teammates but roommates after competing against one another at rival schools over the last four years.

“Alaina and I have been friends since we were little,” Speed said. “She was a Panther and I was a Dragon, but now we’ll both be Bears. I can’t wait to play alongside her on the same team.”

With one of her best friends signed on as a future teammate, and a positive role model as her head coach, Speed is ready to make a sizable impact at the institution that she loves.

“Athletically, I just want to do whatever it takes to help my team,” Speed said. “Academically, I’m excited to get my degree at a great school such as Shawnee State.”