Middle school success positive sign for future of Lumpkin golf
After several seasons of not having a middle school team, Lumpkin County Middle School revitalized its golf program for the 2019 season and the result on the links has been a resounding success.
“Getting student athletes involved at a young age is crucial in building a solid program for years to come,” said LCMS head boys golf coach Tanner Plemmons. “The more our kids understand and learn the system and expectations, the more successful and competitive our teams will be once they reach high school.”
LCMS head girls golf coach Morgan McCrary believes that the reintroduction of the middle school team will help develop golfers for the high school level.
“With most of our team being beginner golfers, it is a tremendous gain for the middle school and high school,” said McCrary. “Because golf is a developmental game, the players learn fundamentals in middle school and feel confident in their game at the high school level. I believe with the middle school program back and running, we can put Lumpkin on the map for golf.”
The two coaches have seen some strong performances and continuing improvement from their golfers so far this season. The Indians have recorded a 3-2 overall record and have gone 3-1 in region play so far this season while the Lady Indians have won two of the five events they have competed in this season.
Most recently the Indians defeated Habersham and finished a stroke behind White County during a match hosted at Mossy Creek Golf Course on Thursday, March 14, while the Lady Indians defeated White County and finished behind Habersham at the same event.
“I feel the boys are off to a great start,” Plemmons said. “Many of the athletes are eager to play and learn, which is what it takes to become a good player. I feel that with each match and practice our players individually and as a team are improving on parts of their game that they were struggling with early in the season. I think the future is bright for this golf program.”
McCrary has seen similar improvements and success from her golfers, something she credits their hard work and coachable attitudes to.
“So far this season, I have been blown away by the girl’s hard work and attitude towards the game,” McCrary said. “In every match we have played, we’ve competed. They have soaked up so much with all the rules and techniques thrown at them. All I have asked of them this season is to do their best and enjoy what the game gives them. They have done that and so much more.”
With three more regular season matches left on the schedule before the League Tournament hosted at White Path later this month, both Plemmons and McCrary said they will continue to focus on individual development and teaching the fundamentals and rules of the game to their respective teams.
“One of our main goals has been to learn the game and compete, that’s what we’ll focus on,” McCrary said. “Golf is one of the hardest sports to play, it’s mental, physical and honest.”
Although there is work to be done, the two coaches are also concerned with making the experience as fun as possible for their golfers.
“Going into this season a couple of our main goals were to increase the kids’ knowledge about the rules and strategies used in the game of golf,” Plemmons said. “Additionally, we as a staff are trying to make this season enjoyable for the student athletes in order to keep the interest level high. If we can do that, we can continue to build our youth golf program here in Lumpkin County.”
At press time, the LCMS golf team was set to compete versus Fannin County at Cooper Basin Golf Course on Monday, March 18. No official results were available.
The Indians and Lady Indians will hit the links again when they battle it out with Gilmer County in a home match at Achasta today, March 20. Tee off is scheduled for 4:15 p.m.