Green – it’s the color of golf; so as a green team, the Fort Campbell High School Falcons feel right at home on the golf course. It’s a program that has tried its best to take flight in years past. Now, with a passionate coach at the helm and a volunteer coach ready to pass along a love of the game, FCHS will experience competitive golfing this coming season.
“It’s taken a few years to get it up and running,” said Velma Camp, new head coach for the Falcons golf team. “Golf is one of those sports I guess kids weren’t really interested in at this age. Most people don’t get into it until they’re in their late teens or early 20s.”
It would seem that interest is beginning to pick up among high school students. The team even has two returning players: brothers Jerry (senior) and Gino (sophomore) Haywood. The renewed interest is a delight to Camp, who’s enjoyed the game for 15 years.
“Our team is building now,” she said. “Last year we had five players; this year we have 11, and we even have a female player now.”
“I’ve literally been playing since last week,” laughed 15-year-old Katie Dillard, who will enter FCHS as a junior this fall.
Dillard, who will be playing on the team with her brother, Thomas, recently got into the sport at the encouragement of her mother.
“She was talking about how there are so many great opportunities in golf, scholarship-wise,” she said. “Also, it’s just a really great sport for when you’re older; it’s a lifetime sport you can keep up.”
“It’s definitely a game for a lifetime,” agreed Lesley Freeman Jr., volunteer assistant coach.
Freeman, who has spent many years working with junior golfers in the surrounding communities, was ready to offer his services and experience as soon as FCHS was ready to form a team.
“I really enjoy working with the youth, I really do,” said Freeman. “What we’re trying to do right now is give the kids the basic fundamentals. To see them actually doing what they’re supposed to do and getting the ball close to the hole is very rewarding for me.”
The coaches and players know what to expect from the upcoming season. They’re aware that they’ll go up against schools with players that have more experience, and more seasons under their belts. Most know that they have to learn a sport from the ground up. None of these facts have deterred the players from teeing up and grabbing clubs.
“We’re not going to set any major goals now, because we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves,” said Freeman. “If you get the kids to come out here and have fun with the game, they’ll stick with it.”
Fun is the ultimate goal.
“It’s a sport where you can go out on a bad day, either go to the driving range and hit balls or go to the course and play nine or 18,” said Camp. “By the time you’re done, the stress is pretty much gone.”
Though it’s all about good times, the team is ready to dive right in to the competition. Their first feat will be the Dawson Springs Tournament at Pennyrile State Resort Park, Aug. 11.
“Wow, that’s soon,” remarked freshman Spencer Koschmeder upon learning of the first tournament date. “I don’t really care about winning, I just want to have fun. I’d gone to the Golf House Tennessee classes so I could get good enough to play with my dad and some of the guys he works with; so, why not do this?”
“It’s an 18-hole tournament, so we’re really starting out with a bang,” said Camp. “We’re going to try to come out strong.”