A-State Women's Golf signs three Arkansas all-state players

From Arkansas State University

Arkansas State head women's golf coach MJ Desbiens Shaw announced Thursday that three Arkansas Activities Association (AAA) All-State selections, including Sarah Childers, Kristen Garner and Olivia Loiacano, have all signed a National Letter of Intent to continue their careers with the Red Wolves.

Childers and Loiacano are both from Jonesboro and attending Valley View High School and Jonesboro High School, respectively.  Garner is a Hot Springs native and is attending Lakeside High School.

Childers was named all-State and all-conference four years in a row and the Wendy's Arkansas Female Golfer of the Year.  As a senior at Valley View, Childers won the state championship and finished 22nd in the Big "I" National Championship. Childers set the course records at the Paragould Country Club and Thunder Bayou Golf Links, shooting 8-under par on both courses.

As a junior, Childers tied for first in the state tournament as a Class 4A state medalist.  During the 2011 season, Childers placed third in the state tournament and finished fourth her freshman year.

"Sarah will be a great addition to our squad next year," said Desbiens Shaw.  "She will be a tremendous asset to our golf team and will also bring some great experience.  She has dedicated a lot of time and energy to the game of golf already and her high school career has definitely shown it. Sarah is also a hard worker who strives to be better every day".

Garner was named all-state and all-conference four years in a row while leading Lakeside to three-straight class 5A state championships. Garner claimed the state title during her senior season and was a four-time conference medalist. She was named 2013 ASGA Junior Girls Player of the Year.

Garner was the 2013 AWGA Junior Stroke champion and won the Bruce Jenkins Memorial champion.  She was runner-up in the ASGA Junior Match Play and the Big "I" Qualifier. She earned Student-Athlete of the Month in 2012 and 2013 for October at Lakeside High School.  Garner was also involved in the National Spanish Honor Society, Sisters in Service organization and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

"I'm very happy that Kirsten will be joining our team next year," Desbiens Shaw said. "She has been very successful at the junior golf level and I expect great things in her next four years of college. Kirsten has traveled to a lot of different tournaments and has acquired a great deal of maturity.  She will definitely help our team reach new heights".

Loiacano was named the 2013 All-Arkansas Preps Outstanding Girl's Golf Player of the Year. She was the 2013 conference champion and individual state champion.  Loiacano is the sister of former Arkansas State women's golf letterman Jennifer Loiacano and Matthew Loiacano, a freshman at A-State who is also a member of the men's golf team.

"I am very excited about having Olivia on our squad next year as she will bring strong golfing experience to our team," Desbiens Shaw said. "I'm also thrilled to have my second Loiacano family member and I look forward to coaching her for the next four years.  Olivia is a hard worker, very disciplined in her practices, and her high school career was wonderful.  She is a great student who will have a fantastic time here at Arkansas State."