By Tony Adams
Three months ago, Belton High School celebrated its third golf individual championship when Andrew Paysse captured the Class 5A State Championship with a 67-71=138.
Paysse joined Donnie Kelly (1979) and Neil Hickerson (1983) as the lone Belton individual champions. Kelly, Hickerson, Paysse and the 1985 and 1988 Belton Girls’ Golf Teams are among the Tigers’ elite golfers to be honored in the state championship winners’ circle.
Now Paysse has made another key decision in his young career: the verbal commitment to play golf at Texas A&M in 2014-2015.
Paysse had taken visits to UT-San Antonio, New Mexico, Rice, Houston and Arizona. The recent history and performance of the Aggie golf team was a big influence on Paysse’s decision, with Texas A&M winning the NCAA Division I National Championship in 2009.
“Both of my parents went to Texas A&M,” said Paysse. “My brother goes there. I have a lot of family that goes or has gone there. Texas A&M is just a really good place to play golf. They’re a top 25 golf team in the nation every year. They make it to the NCAA Championships every year. Great coach, great practice facilities, great school. I couldn’t find any weaknesses about it.”
Texas A&M’s home course is one that Paysse is familiar with: the Traditions Club in College Station. He has played in a pair of tournaments at the site.
“We had a school tournament there and an American Junior Golf Association event at Traditions,” said Paysse.
Though he cannot sign until November, the relationship between Paysse and Texas A&M golf coach J.T. Higgins is a great one.
“I really like Coach Higgins,” said Paysse. “He’s a real nice guy, a great coach. I met him my freshman year when I went down for a visit. He’s a really great coach. I’ve been able to talk to him a lot and see how they run things down there at Texas A&M.”
The Belton senior got the commitment out of the way early so he could enjoy his summer and concentrate on the fall golf.
“It took a lot off of my back, committing at end of my junior year,” said Paysse. “It really frees me up this summer. I can stop worrying about where I’m going to visit or where I am going to end up.”