Rifle’s Smith signs with Metro State to play golf
Rifle senior Masi Smith wanted to get away from the area and experience new things. That desire led to her spurning Colorado Mesa University to sign with Metropolitan State University of Denver to play golf for the Roadrunners and head coach Stefanie Ferguson.
Having verbally committed to CMU nearly a year ago, following in the footsteps of her father and two older brothers, Smith had a change of heart and made the choice to change things up.
“It was nerve-racking telling Mesa I didn’t want to play there, said Smith, who signed with Metro State on Feb. 14 in front of friends and family inside Jack Smith Gymnasium, which is named after her grandfather. “I was verbally committed to CMU for almost about a year, but I realized coming into my senior year that I wanted to try something different.
“After growing up in Rifle all my life, I realized that I have always been more of a city girl,” added Smith. “Growing up in the country and growing up in such a small town in which you know all of the same kids until you graduate high school really influenced me to get out of here and see what’s out there. Metro offers that perfect opportunity.”
The Rifle product added that she felt everything clicked with the girls on the team at Metro State during her official visit earlier in the year.
Smith, who shot a two-round score of +31 in the 2018 3A girls golf state tournament at Elmwood Golf Course in Pueblo, is the top returning golfer for the Bears this spring, leading a team that placed third overall in the state last season.
Knowing that her college golf future is locked up at Metro State prior to the start of the season is a big sigh of relief for the Rifle senior, who can now relax and play for fun, rather than trying to prove herself over and over to college coaches throughout the spring.
“It relaxes me a lot,” said Smith. “I’ve been working on more technical things with my swing, like my grip and swing motion, as well as my stance. It’s nice knowing that I’ll be able to just train this year and know I’m even more prepared moving forward for college. But just because I know I’m going somewhere for college for golf, that doesn’t mean I won’t be looking to win every time I step onto the course.”
Following a successful senior season in basketball that saw Smith garner college basketball attention, Smith chose golf, sticking with the sport that is near and dear to her family.
“I grew up golfing, and it was definitely something that I was raised with,” said Smith. “My grandpa and my Dad taught both of my brothers and I how to golf, so it’s just been a big family thing to remember. I’ve never really got tired of playing golf; it’s just so much fun. It’s much more fun to play than it is to watch, that’s for sure.
“My grandpa has been the biggest influence on me playing golf, along with my family,” added Smith. “I’m very happy to be able to continue playing golf competitively at the collegiate level.”
Off the course, Smith will major in biology and minor in French and nutrition, but she said she might change the language to Spanish.
“I want to be a physical therapist and specialize in pediatric care,” said Smith. “I grew up in a family that was involved in the medical side of things. My oldest brother is in medical school in Barbados, and my Dad is an optometrist here in Rifle. At first I wanted to do orthopedic surgery, but then I started observing things and realized I didn’t want to do that. I’ve always wanted to help people after seeing how my grandpa struggled with his illness.
“I’ve always loved kids; I want to help kids grow up and be the best kid they can be and have goals and dreams,” added Smith.
The Rifle senior will start her final year of play with the Bears next week when Spring sports officially open.