Horton, Fowler, and England finish with state tournament memories –
Story by Mark Carpenter –
Photo by Patrice Yezzi England –
What better way to close out a high school career than with competition at the state’s highest level? For three local seniors, that is exactly how they went out. West Union golfers Craig Horton and Tyler Fowler, plus North Adams’ Patrick England will have a high school memory of their senior year that they will be able to tell their grandchildren all about, a trip to the OHSAA state tournament as the final golf match of their high school careers.
Though none of the three golfers will say that they played their best golf in the two days at the North Star Golf Club, they will all still take home a pocketful of memories, especially for Horton and Fowler, who made the trip to state in both their junior and senior seasons.
Though Horton’s golf career is not ending as he recently signed to play next year at Shawnee state University, he still will always cherish the memories of two trips to state in high school.
“It was a lot of fun,” said the West Union senior. “The whole experience is usually once in a lifetime for most people and we were lucky enough to get back a second time. Being considered one of the top 12 teams in the state was an honor. I wasn’t really happy with my performance on a really tough course but it was fun and I will remember it for a long time.”
“It was awesome, my senior year, what more could I ask for,” said Fowler. “We won sectionals, districts, the SHAC, we won a ton of stuff and you couldn’t ask for much better. Going to the state finals two years in a row was absolutely amazing. Finishing that last 18th hole was really sad though, the last high school hole I was going to play, it was really rough. That course, oh my goodness, I’ve never played a course that tough in my life.
For England and his North Adams teammates, the trip to state was a memorable one because it was their first one.
“It was a great way to end my golf career,” said England. “It didn’t turn out how we wanted it to at state, but it was still a great experience. Everyone on our team shot like their worst two rounds of the year, but the course was really tough, especially the greens. My favorite part of the whole trip was just getting to hang out with my teammates and enjoy the whole experience.”
Though the players obviously enjoyed the time at the state tourney, it is also a big thrill for the coaches, though West Union head man Carl Schneider I snot stranger to trips to the state golf tournament.
“The state tournament was again a great thrill for our golfer,s” said Schneider. “I thought they handled the first-day jitters pretty well, having a familiarity with the process from last year. To have two teams from the SHAC and Adams County at the state finals shows the quality of golf being played in the area. Not many high school athletes get the opportunity.”
“I would certainly like to thank the community for their support of our golf team. It really makes my job easier when people are supporting the kids. You hear so many negatives about youth, but I can say that the young men on this team have brought pride to the school and community and are well on their way to successful lives. The dedication and commitment that they have displayed over the years to accomplish this will be used many times over in their lives. With some hard work over the summer, we have to replace two seniors, I think the team could head back for a third straight year.”
For North Adams head coach Ammon Mitchell, the trip to the state was as new for him as it was for his team but he still was very proud of their accomplishments in 2016.
“This year has been such a special year for our North Adams golf team,” said Mitchell. “It’s such an honor to compete at the state level in any sport. I am so proud of the hard work and dedication that our boys showed this year and it goes to show that hard work does pay off. Competing at the state level will be a memory I will cherish for the rest of my life. Although we didn’t win the state title, we can say that the North Adams Green Devils are one of the top 12 teams in the state of Ohio, which is quite an accomplishment. Without the support of our administration, parents, and community, we would never have had such a magical season.”