High school golf is in full swing

Published 8:43 am Friday, August 14, 2009

FRANKLIN—While the public high school football teams begin their seasons on Sept. 3 or 4, the high school golf teams will have much of their schedules already complete by the time football plays its first game.

Franklin High School opened its golf season Monday with a four-way meet against Northampton, Greensville and Surry County at Cypress Cove Country Club.

The Broncos, last year’s Tri-Rivers District regular season champs, took it on the chin in the nine-hole match. Greensville won the match with 227 strokes; Surry was second at 235; Northampton was third at 237; and Franklin finished fourth with 253. Each team’s first top four finishers are counted in the team score.

The first Tri-Rivers District meet was scheduled for Thursday at Cypress Creek in Smithfield, Windsor High School’s home course.

By the time school starts on Sept. 8, Franklin will have nine of its 12 scheduled matches already played.

The regular season will conclude on Sept. 17, and the Tri-Rivers District tournament meet will be held on Sept. 22.

Dave Lease, Franklin head coach, said it is typical for golf to start early.

“It’s my fifth or sixth year, and it’s something they have always done,” Lease said. “That’s just when they start golf. The state meet is mid-October.”

Lease, who has been a building trades teacher at FHS for 21 years, said the Broncos are a young team. Franklin will have a hard time replacing Ben Devore, a state performer who is moving on to William & Mary.

“We have one junior, Ben Scarboro, one sophomore, and seven freshman,” he said. “Only one (freshman) plays a lot and that is Grant Scarboro, Ben’s brother.

Lease said he hopes the young Broncos can improve each match.

“We have potential to be competitive, but for some this is their first year playing. Some have picked up the game just in the last year,” Lease said.

Unlike football and other sports, golf practice officially began August 1 according to the Virginia High School League, and the team has had little time to prepare for the season. Lease said Danny Morgan, the golf pro at Cypress Cove Country Club, and Kent Stephenson, have been helping the team.

“We just practice on swing and different shots. We get on the driving range a lot. We teach them the proper way to hold the club and different things,” said Lease, who also coaches football at FHS. “There are a lot of things to learn. Golf is not an easy sport. It’s the toughest sport I’ve played.”

Lease said this weekend, the Franklin golf team will have a unique experience by caddying for a walking group that will help teach them the game.

Franklin’s next match will be a Tri-Rivers District match at Surry County’s home course at 9 a.m. on Aug. 18.

Southampton High School and Southampton Academy also play at Cypress Cove Country Club.