Golf isn’t a team sport — it is a demanding solitary endeavor, it can be rather expensive, it demands constant practice and a level of concentration that a lot of high school kids just don’t have yet, so it tends to be rather exclusionary by its nature.
Since I’ve covered the school program from the fall of 2008, the program has produced a string of success stories.
The boys’ program has run off a string of nine consecutive regional championships under the tutelage of the late Mike McDermon, J.R. Conkle, Brandon Thompson and current coach Gary Adkins.
Just before my tenure with the Planet began, McDermon and Conkle took the team to state three times and brought back one title and two second place finishes.
Mason Jacobs pulled off the hat trick individually winning three state championships. Dustin Korte took second place twice along with a seventh-place finish, and more recently Zach Burnham finished 12th in the state title hunt.
The girls’ program has been no less successful, if anything it has been a tad more successful. In the 2006-07 season, Gary Pirtle took the Lady Patriots to state and brought back a championship trophy.
Since then, the girls have been under the guidance of Kimberly (Hille) Futrell, and it has been a steady stream of success stories. Under Futrell the girls have won state twice, come in second once and took third place twice. The girls’ program has also produced a state champion individually in Tala Mumford.
What does all that mean? It means that Massac County is a force in prep golf in the state of Illinois!
This past weekend the Patriot and Lady Patriot golf teams held their annual outing at Metropolis Country Club to raise funds for the upcoming year.
The four-person scramble format tournament is the primary fundraiser for both programs, and this year’s edition produced a full house of participants and a very successful return for the teams.
Adkins and Futrell reported having in excess of 40 hole sponsors, a full field of 18 teams and a handful of cash donations to the program. Both coaches expressed their deep appreciation of the community involvement and support for the teams.
The format produced some rather incredible scores as well. In the championship flight, the team of Kirsten Faulkner and Sami Weber, both MCHS alumnae, and Hunter Travis and Thomas Simpson went way low with a score of 53. In the A flight, the Massac Memorial Hospital team of Chuck Girtman, Blake Goins, Ron Martin and Dwayne Wieneke took top honors with a score of 61.
Scores of 10 to 12 under par were all over the leaderboard as the players took advantage of the format and a perfect afternoon.