On the Green
On paper, golf is a sport that appears to have missed the memo on the prerequisites of what it means to be a sport.
There is no running. Golfers walk from hole to hole, purposefully chasing their ball, but there is no sprinting down the field or court in chase of the ball. Spectators are quiet when players approach the ball for a shot, rather than yelling raucously in attempts to both cheer for their favorite players and show disdain for their team’s opponents. The lower the score, the better the round. Outscoring your opponent is an example of the classic “less is more.”
Occasionally, athletes are interested in competing in sports that Glenrock doesn’t offer, and the school works with other schools to allow the students to participte. In the case of Trey Thornock and Archer Young, this means playing golf for the Douglas Bearcats.
In high school, golf is the only sport that is split between fall and spring seasons, due to obvious weather conditions.
This allows students opportunities during the winter season to explore other possibilities, and Thornock and Young both play basketball for the Herd during the winter months.
For Thornock, a junior, and Young, a sophomore, making the trek to Douglas to practice with the golf team is old hat, as both started playing for the school in junior high. Both players said that as they started playing golf at a young age, to continue to play through high school was natural. As Glenrock doesn’t offer a golf program.
Head coach Chase plumb, with nearly a decade in the role, has been able to teach Thonock and Young. Plumb said, along with assistant coaches Curtis Starkey and Andrew Kennedy, has witnessed the pair of Glenrock players increase their skill dramatically.
“Trey has always had the potential and capability to be a great player, that was evident even when he was a freshman,” he said. “After his sophomore season, he really got serious about his game and put the work in during the summer, so when he came back this past fall as a junior he was a different golfer.”
“He came to practice focused, ready to go from day one, and the benefits were there,” he added. “He was our golfer of the year, led our team in scoring average, and really developed into a leader for our team. Coming from a different town to play for us, that’s not the easiest thing to do, but he’s become a strong leader.”
“With Archer, you could see his ‘game face’, even as a freshman. He’s competitive, he wants to be successful. He’s the kid who’s always picking up balls after practice, wanting to stay in the range longer,” Plumb said. “He’s not the first one to leave; he’s always the last one on the range.”
“He’s always working on his game, putting in the extra time, and he’s just trying to be as good as he can possibly be,” he added. “This year as a sophomore, you could really see it paying off. He was one of our top five players in the fall, and I think the sky’s the limit for him. He’s experienced a little bit of success, and I think he’ll really get after it and see him make incredible strides.”
Young said that his interest in the game originally stemmed from watching his father play.
“My dad went out golfing, and I started going out with him. I remember trying it out for a couple holes one day, and I really enjoyed it,” Young said. “My dad and I still go out and play together, and we have fun together. We get competitive, but it’s fun.
“My parents are the ones who originally got me interested in golf,” Thornock said.
“We still get to go out and play all the time in the summer. Sometimes my dad beats me, sometimes I beat him, but I’m really working to get better all the time.”
For the Douglas team this year, there are no seniors on the squad. With the split season, coach Plumb said that one of the goals in the spring was to help prepare players for the fall season next year, as the state tournaments and accolades are awarded prior to the break each year.
“Since there is no culminating event in the spring season, we’re going to work hard to improve for next season,” said Plumb. “It’s a chance for us coaches to evaluate kids who will be back next fall, to really focus and help them build good habits in the spring, so they can work on those in the summer and carry them over into next season.”
“With only a few tournaments in the spring, it’s a great chance for the kids to build upon their skills,” he added. “It shows us which kids are serious about golf, who want to get better and who can work in cold conditions to achieve that and not complain.”
Young said that some of his goals for the spring season was to consistently score in the 80s. He said that the best round he’s recorded for the school was an 86, although his personal best was an 82 he carded with his dad.
Thornock said that his goal for spring was to not grow complacent and to continue to improve in all areas of the game.
“I really just want to do my best, to show that I’m a threat for the fall season,” he said. “I’d really like to try to play golf in college later, so I need to keep working and just continue to get better.”
The first tournament of the spring for the team tees off in Buffalo for the Buffalo Invite on Friday.