SCHOLAR ATHLETE: Ramirez uses confidence to excellence in classroom, on golf course

Things have changed dramatically for Odessa High senior Iris Ramirez over the last four years.

When she arrived on campus as a freshman, she admits that she wasn’t much of a talker. As she gets ready to graduate seventh in her class of 764, she’s become more outspoken both in the classroom and on the course as a member of the girls golf team.

In fact, the 2019 Odessa High girls scholar athlete honoree credits the golf team for helping her get to this point in her life.

“I wasn’t very talkative when I first joined the golf team but it really helped put myself out there more,” Ramirez said. “I reach out and talked to people more. As the only senior this year, that pushed me to be better and help the girls.”

Ramirez has embraced that leadership role on the course this year for the Lady Bronchos. Among the highlights for her has been a Top 10 finish at the ECISD Invitational in Odessa back in March.

But the graduating senior has had a lot to handle off the course with her involvement in National Honor Society and the Junior Leadership of Odessa among others on top of her schoolwork.

Being able to balance everything can be a challenge but head coach Berry Borchardt says that Ramirez’s ability to manage her time stands out more than what she’s accomplished on the course.

“The greatest thing to me is that she’s stayed on top of her schoolwork,” he said. “That speaks volumes about her because we’re at the golf course almost every day.

“She has to put time in her other life aside to make sure that she takes care of what she needs to.”

That hard work has paid for Ramirez as she’s pushed herself to be the best student she can be in the classroom.

As she has grown more comfortable speaking, that effort has also been picked up on by her other teachers as well.

“Iris has been my go-getter all year long,” said Cole Hanson, Ramirez’s journalism teacher this year, “The very first part of the year, nobody wanted to get on camera and do the morning announcements.

“Now, she’s the first one to do it and it’s become just second nature to her.”

Ramirez’s dedication has paid off and she credits her ability to stay organized as a major reason for her success.

“Time management is the most important thing,” she said. “I would have a calendar that I used to keep up with my assignments. My parents also push me to stay organized and help as well.”

Hanson added that he’s also impressed by her ability to get things done and do them well. 

“It’s impressive what she’s been able to do between golf, my class and her other classes,” Hanson said. “She’s able to keep me updated on what I need to know and pay attention to.

“She was kind of like my alarm clock and calendar for stuff like that.”

As for her plans after high school, Ramirez said that she draws inspiration from her parents, specifically her mother.

She plans to attend UTPB in the fall and major in geology with eyes on a potential career in petroleum engineering. It was an interest that was nurtured by her mother from a young age and now she wants to focus more on her studies as opposed to her work on the golf course.

“My mom always liked geology,” she said. “I remember she would always point something out whether we driving by a mountain or anything like that.

“She took it as a course in college and really regretted not pursuing it. I want to try and pursue it as well.”

No matter what direction Ramirez ultimately decides to go, those around her have little doubt that she can achieve success in any field she chooses.

“Iris is going to go out in the world and be a very productive citizen,” Borchardt said. “She’ll be leading the way for us and I hope that I instilled some things in her that make her a better person. I can’t wait to see what she does.”