Tyler Lee student-athletes sign letters of intent to play golf at collegiate level

Tyler Lee student-athletes sign letters of intent to play golf at collegiate level
Robert E. Lee High School student-athletes Annaka Watts and Sydney McConnell signed letters of intent to play golf at the collegiate level during a ceremony Wednesday morning. Watts has accepted a scholarship to play women’s golf at Texas Wesleyan University; McConnell has also accepted a similar scholarship to play at the University of Mary Hardin Baylor. (Source: KLTV News)

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Two Robert E. Lee High School seniors have committed to play golf at the collegiate level in 2020.

Annaka Watts and Sydney McConnell signed letters of intent during a ceremony Wednesday morning at the high school gym in Tyler.

Watts has accepted a scholarship to play women’s golf at Texas Wesleyan University; McConnell has also accepted a similar scholarship to play at the University of Mary Hardin Baylor.

The Lady Raiders head golf coach John Taylor credited the two teens for the success of the women’s golf team over the last three years. Watts and McConnell have been anchors on a team that has seen back-to-back district titles since 2018.

“We are hoping for a third,” said Taylor, as he addressed a crowd of guests at the signing ceremony.

Sydney McConnell has accepted a similar scholarship to play at the University of Mary Hardin Baylor. McConnell mentioned district championships as a highlight for her high school career. Her team hardware is paired with two district championships in the medalist division. (Source: Erika Bazaldua, KLTV News)
Sydney McConnell has accepted a similar scholarship to play at the University of Mary Hardin Baylor. McConnell mentioned district championships as a highlight for her high school career. Her team hardware is paired with two district championships in the medalist division. (Source: Erika Bazaldua, KLTV News) (Source: KLTV News)

McConnell mentioned district championships as a highlight for her high school career. Her team hardware is paired with two district championships in the medalist division.

"I saw all my hard work pay off and it was so nice to win that tournament being the biggest tournament," said McConnell.

“I can’t wait to go and make my mark on Mary Hardin Baylor kind of like I did at Lee.”

As for Watts, the future Ram is getting back on the course after having foot surgery this year.

Prior to her medical hiatus, Watts won the 2019 NTPGA Azalea Trail Championship, following McConnell's 2018 win.

Annaka Watts has accepted a scholarship to play women’s golf at Texas Wesleyan University. Watts won the 2019 NTPGA Azalea Trail Championship, following McConnell's 2018 win. (Source: Erika Bazaldua, KLTV News)
Annaka Watts has accepted a scholarship to play women’s golf at Texas Wesleyan University. Watts won the 2019 NTPGA Azalea Trail Championship, following McConnell's 2018 win. (Source: Erika Bazaldua, KLTV News) (Source: KLTV News)

An active member of the First Tee of Greater Tyler, Watts has qualified for multiple national events throughout her junior golf career.

“17 Pebble Beach Open, ’17 College Prep Academy, and ’16 Life Skills Academy are some of the major events just to name a few,” said First Tee Program Director Christian Sarran.

"Of course I'll come back to Tyler to see my dogs and my parents, but I'm just excited about this new step in my life," Watts said as she reminisced on a closing chapter in her athletic career.

Watt's described Wednesday's ceremony as a full-circle moment for both she and her teammate.

"Me and Sydney have known each other since we were 10 and we've played golf together since we were 10, so it's really exciting to be singing together," said Watts. "I'm really going to miss my team, and Coach Taylor, and miss Lee a lot because it's really made me who I am."

“Great golfers and great students,” is how Coach Taylor described Watts and McConnell. “But we’ve still got the rest of the season to play.”

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