She calmly converted the shot and then turned and celebrated with her teammates.

"It was a such a rush. You literally feel like you are on top of the world," Everly said. "You can't buy that feeling."

In the years since, Everly has done a lot of traveling. She's spent time living in North Carolina, Florida and California before returning to Maryland.

And since she's been back, Everly has gotten back to her athletic roots. Over the last seven years, she's coached field hockey, basketball and softball, each for at least one season, at St. Mary's Ryken in Southern Maryland.


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"Athletics are a part of who I am. You can separate yourself from it, but at the end of the day there's going to be a part of you that really misses it all," Everly said. "I'm so thankful for all the opportunities I've had through sports. It's helped define my life."

—Brent Kennedy

Joan Lovelace

Joan Lovelace remembers the encouraging words well.

So much so that she says, to this day, there are times she'll replay them back in her head.

"From the time I was very young my dad would always tell me that 'life is going to bring you challenges, but you can't be afraid to face them and go after what you want,' " Lovelace said. "He would say, 'You can't know whether or not you can do something until you try it.' "

Perhaps that's why through the years Lovelace has never been one for strictly adhering to typical societal conventions.

In the 1970s, as a student at Howard High School, she became the county's first female to play a boys' varsity sport when she joined the golf team as a freshman. She went on to become the team's top player by her senior year.

Later, after years serving as an apprentice at Hobbit's Glen, she took over as the first professional at Columbia's Fairway Hills golf club when it opened in 1995. To go with that, Lovelace worked toward becoming a member of the Professional Golfers Association, something she achieved in 2001. Typically women will only work toward being a member of the LPGA, which she accomplished in 1994.

Then, a little more than six years ago, Lovelace again broke the mold by becoming head professional and general manager of Hobbit's Glen and Fairway Hills. She is currently one of only two female professionals statewide to hold such a position.

"There were definitely times over the years when I got discouraged, but I never lost my passion," Lovelace said. "I knew pretty early, this is what I wanted to do with my life."

Lovelace was first introduced to the game of golf in middle school. She would go out on the course with her father, John, for his morning round and serve as a forecaddie for the group.

"I was in charge of watching where everyone's balls went," she said.

One day at Hobbit's Glen when she was 11 or 12, Lovelace remembers her dad asking if she wanted to hit a shot. The rest, as they say, is history.

"He put a 4-iron in my hand and I remember hitting it further than one of his buddies that had hit a driver."

Lovelace began playing regularly, mostly with her dad and mother, Joann. When high school rolled around, she had developed a fairly solid all-around game.