It all seemed to fall into place — like a pen falling to paper, and ink drying on a dotted line.
For two Odessa College golfers, the right paths emerged, and they took their first steps down them Wednesday.
Wranglers golfers Parker Beaty and Austin Anderson celebrated signing letters of intent to continue their careers at the four-year level on Wednesday afternoon at a ceremony in the Wrangler Room in the OC Sports Center.
Beaty signed on to play with Division I's McNeese State, while Anderson signed to play across town at UTPB.
Both put pen to paper during the NCAA's early signing period from Nov. 8-15.
Beaty, a former Permian standout, is set to transfer to McNeese State at semester's end, immediately eligible to compete there this spring. Anderson will join UTPB next fall, in time for the upstart Falcons program's third season.
"It's definitely a feather in our cap," Odessa College head golf coach Paul Chavez said of the signings.
Beaty will join a McNeese State team that's won back-to-back Southland Conference championships, and competed alongside schools like Texas, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Ole Miss and Arizona State in the NCAA's Austin regionals last spring.
"They won conference past two years and hopefully we'll win a third in a row," Beaty said.
For him, the mid-semester move is about seizing an opportunity to get a head start on his career in Division I. He'll finish his sophomore year with the Cowboys this spring, with junior and senior seasons still left to play ahead of him.
Beaty helped lead Permian to a District 3-6A championship in the spring of 2016.
He originally planned to head to McNeese State next fall, but the coaching staff presented him with a chance to join the roster earlier than planned, and he jumped on the opportunity.
"As a student-athlete, the sooner you get to DI golf the better, and the better acclimated you'll become," Chavez said. "It's just a win situation for him."
Beaty said he was already committed to McNeese State after visiting the school in Lake Charles, La., last summer.
"It was sweet," Beaty said, of the campus and the area in Louisiana, noting he'll have to get used to the humidity.
"It's more hills and trees — and alligators, I guess," he laughed.
Anderson's excited to swing more clubs in Odessa. He'll finish the season with the Wranglers before joining the Falcons for his junior and senior seasons.
Anderson grew up in Odessa. He went to Plano High after his family moved there when he was in junior high, but plenty of extended family members remained and he's held roots in Odessa.
"I realized that I wanted to stay here in Odessa," Anderson said. "I had family here and all that. It just made it a lot easier for me to be able to stay here, kind of where things are already. It was easier to make that choice."
Anderson marks the first Odessa College golf signee to sign to jump from the Wranglers to the Falcons.
Chavez said his program has had a strong relationship with the upstart Falcons team and its new coach Kevan Schott, but Wednesday, it was good to see a visible bridge built between the programs through Anderson, the first signee to take that step.
"Any time we have an opportunity to send kids to his program, we'll definitely pursue that opportunity," Chavez said.
Anderson will join the Falcons in time for the third season of golf at UTPB starting next fall.
"It's definitely cool," Anderson said, of being part of the foundation at UTPB. "It's only the second year for them to have that program at UTPB. Last year I know it didn't go as planned, but hopefully, by us making a difference next year, it's going to help that program continue to build.
"Hopefully we're able to have a good season next year."
Article by Justin Lee OA