Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College golf coach Tommy Snell said that he had a strong inkling that freshman golfer and former Hahnville standout Colin Troxler would quickly make his presence known at the college level.
“You never know just how much of an impact a guy will have coming out of high school, but with him, I knew he’d make some kind of impression from the beginning,” Snell said. “Given the credentials he had (at Hahnville), you could kind of see it coming.”
The Luling native has validated his coach’s thoughts in Troxler’s first collegiate season. He has placed in the top 10 of five different events. In one stretch this season, he took second place in three of four events; he took sixth in the fourth.
Though those numbers suggest otherwise, Troxler said the adjustment hasn’t been easy.
“You have to play at a high level every time out,” Troxler said. “In high school, maybe if I had an off day, I could still go out and be the best. But here, you’ve got to play great all year long. It was tough (to adjust), especially at first.”
He took up the game at an early age, drawing from his father’s interest in the sport.
“He started the game late, so he wanted to start me off early,” Troxler said.
Since beginning competitive tournament play at the age of 10, he’s made a rapid ascension.
Snell’s team boasts two highly ranked sophomores this season. Troxler hasn’t exactly been left in the dust.
“They’re ranked eighth and 11th, and there he is right behind them at 12,” Snell said. “He’s made such a smooth transition to the college game. He’s really been a joy to have and an asset to our team.”
As to what his freshman phenom’s best attribute is, Snell cited Troxler’s confidence.
“Even when things aren’t going so well, he looks at the bright side,” Troxler said. “He never believes he’s out of it. In his mind, he’ll just birdie the next three holes. It’s exactly what happened at the William Carey tournament this year. He falls behind, and then it’s birdie-birdie-birdie.”
Troxler’s own assessment of his greatest strength mirrored that of his coach.
“No matter how many I’m down, I know I can bring it back,” Troxler said.
Snell also cited Troxler’s passion for the game as a key attribute.
“He loves golf,” Snell said. “Some guys love to play and some guys love to hit balls on the range. He loves to play and loves to compete.”
Said Troxler, “You don’t have to depend on others like you would in baseball or other sports. Your success is determined by what you do, and I’ve always liked that.”
Troxler’s average score this season is a 72. He has posted five rounds in the 60s, highlighted by a low round of 66.
Troxler and Mississippi Gulf Coast return to competition this Saturday when they play in tournament action in Columbus, Miss.
Snell has an idea of what to expect from the HHS alumnus.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better recruit,” Snell said.