Coach Greg Nix has taken over this season as Mary Persons head golf coach. Nix says that his only golf coaching experience was from his time as a teacher and coach at Crisp Academy but feels that his many years of playing golf and experience coaching other sports gives him the tools that he needs to help the program grow. “The team works well and improves every day. They show up to practice on time, get warmed up, and get to playing. I really like how they work”, says Nix.
One goal that Coach Nix has this season is to establish a program that will breed a culture of competition among the players similar to a JV and Varsity team. The boys have 20 golfers on the team this year that will be fighting for the top 6 spots for each match. The girls only have 7 golfers this year with many 1st time players on the team but they seem to be getting the hang of it quickly. Nix also has help from assistant coaches Miles Benson who will coach the girls and Art Jenkins who will help with the development of the JV Boys.
The Bulldogs will compete in 12 matches throughout the season before heading into the Area 2, Region AAA tournament in May where it really counts. Nix’s goal is to have both teams playing their best golf by the area tournament.
The boys top players, Calen Knight, Cannon Newberry, and Carson Newberry will lead the team with players Jason Cox, Lane Norris, and Thorne Crews bringing experience to the table as well. Nix says there will be lots of competition for the 5th and 6th spot. The top six spots can change for each match so the boys will have to stay on top of their game in order to compete in matches.
The girls squad has grown this season adding multiple first-time golfers. Heather Tillman and Samantha Fussell are returning to the team this year while newcomers Ridley White, Calliway Sellman, Kayley Gordon, and Eliza Gavin will step in and help the team for their first season. Freshman McKenzie Hicks will also be one of the top golfers on the team in only her first year in high school competition.
Both teams were slated to take on Jackson in their first match on March 1st but the boys from Jackson ended up not having a team to compete so the boys played an exhibition match on their own. The girls found success winning their first match of the season with McKenizie Hicks posting a score of 52 and Heather Tillman leading the team with a low score of 48.
The team plays two matches this week against Jones County on March 8 and FPD on March 9.