THE COFFEE County Middle School’s golf team won their first SEC season in 10 years and went on to win first place in the conference tournament, with golf coach Rachel Williams coaching for the first time.
Williams played golf in high school and was a talented multi-sport athlete. Her kids have since carried the baton and have been involved with Coffee County junior golf programs since they were young.
Williams revealed that the players have a lot of chemistry, which helped them win the championship.
She said, “The eighth grade boys played together in the junior golf program since they were little, so we just kept waiting and waiting.”
Williams said she and the golfers knew they would win a championship when the boys transitioned from junior golf to middle school golf.
“They said, at the beginning of last season, ‘We’re gonna win it this year.’”
The golf coach highlighted that she had a strong team last year, and eight of her 14 golfers played in every match, with her son, Cade Williams, being one of them. James Bradley, Skylar Releford, Lucas Turner, and Luke Lowe were among the eight players. Williams listed her top four players that took the team to the next level. She had returning players Cade Williams, Tallan Crosslin, Noah Costello, and Brayden Kesling on the line-up. She hopes the conference championship win will bring in more players, specifically girl golfers.
The team was forced to contend with inclement weather conditions last season. Williams said the golfers had to play in the “pouring down rain.”
She recalled, “I’ll never forget we played a match in Franklin County at Bear Trace, and it probably rained seven of the nine holes they played, bless their hearts, and they were drenched.”
The team rescheduled a couple of matches due to difficult weather conditions, which extended the golf season.
Their successful season last year earned all but one of them, Luke Lowe, a returning varsity seventh grade player, a spot on Coffee County High School’s golf team. “The high school coach was like, ‘Absolutely, I want all of them.’ It was because they had such a great season. I had such a great group of players, so they just got to end with me and pick up with high school and start their whole high school career. It was a positive transition from leaving me to going to high school.
The coach hopes that her new group of players and the one returning player willhave a successful season but, most importantly, enjoy the sport without the pressure to repeat last year’s feat.
“I want to see them grow as players and enjoy the game. That’s the whole point — to enjoy what you’re playing. I don’t want to put that weight on their shoulders at the start of the season. I just want to see them enjoy it and improve as individual golfers.”GN