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Watch: 9-year-old girl is putting her varsity boys teammates to shame

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Anna Christian Beeker is just 9 years old, but she is breaking all kinds of barriers at Tuscaloosa Academy in Alabama.

The third-grader currently plays on the varsity golf team at the school, where the majority of her teammates are high school boys.

While children who have not yet reached the seventh grade aren’t allowed to compete in varsity sports, per Alabama High School Athletic Association rules, that guideline only applies to public schools in the state.

But as a private institution, Tuscaloosa Academy is under the jurisdiction of the Alabama Independent School Association, where there is no such rule.

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AISA athletic director Roddie Beck told the Tuscaloosa News that he’s never heard of anyone as young as Anna playing on a varsity team.

That doesn’t mean it’s never happened before, though.

“Playing at the high school level in the third grade is extremely rare,” the Tuscaloosa News reported. “J.B. Holmes, 35, who plays on the PGA Tour, earned 10 varsity letters after joining the Taylor County High School team in Kentucky as a third-grader.”

When Tuscaloosa Academy’s golf coach, Scott Taylor, approached the school’s athletic director, Robert Johnson, about putting Anna on the team, he quickly agreed. After all, Anna’s brother William played on the varsity golf team as a fifth-grader.

“Scott said we’ve got a third-grader that can really hit, and she has done really well, too,” Johnson said.

Though she’s just 9, Anna shoots in the 90s and can drive the ball 180 yards.

What’s more, her coach said that Anna’s short game is also impressive.

Do you think Anna will one day be a professional golfer?

“She is at a disadvantage from the ability to hit off the tee from a certain distance, but you get her with anyone else within 100 yards and she’s as good as any of them,” Taylor said.

“She is playing on the level of an average high school golfer at 9 years old with what she is shooting, and for her age that is incredible,” added Tom Farrell,  assistant golf professional at Indian Hills Country Club, where Anna recently competed in a tournament.

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One of her opponents in that tournament, 17-year-old Luke Agent, was impressed by what he saw.

“She was very mature for a third-grader. I would think she was in like sixth or seventh grade if I didn’t ask her,” Agent said. “She played pretty close with me, and I think she beat the other guy in our group.”

“It’s definitely more of a challenge for me, but I like playing with them,” Anna said. “We don’t have much to talk about, but that’s kind of better for me because then I can focus more.”

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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