Last month, I was in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, recruiting at the Alabama State Junior Golf Championship at Indian Hills Country Club. I was thankful for a week of cooler weather.
Thoughts of college football, carved pumpkins, brightly glowing golden leaves on trees, kids waiting for the school bus and the start of college golf season are all running through my mind. That’s when it hit me that summer was indeed on the eve of ending.
As most readers remember, our CACC Trojan Golf Team won the NJCAA National Championship this past year. We did so with four sophomores and one freshman in the final top 5 of our roster, and all of these boys were from the state of Alabama. I should add that we are planning a championship ring ceremony right before or during halftime at Benjamin Russell High School’s first home football game on Aug. 30 to celebrate.
This year, my roster is completely lopsided, and we only have two returning golfers and seven fresh faces to coach. Normally, I will have four or five new golfers, but this year will be different. This being said and Trojan Golf being young, some people may be counting us out when it comes to the spring championship date, but I’m not. The quality of players joining this year is tremendous, and if they listen and work hard – as I expect them to – we could possibly be back-to-back champions. I am proud to introduce our upcoming CACC Trojan Golf Team:
Dylan Moncus: Moncus is an Alexander City native and played in our fifth position much of last year. Moncus is a tremendous student who has earned Dean’s List honors. He also has had some fine showings in this past summer’s tournaments, where he shot a few rounds under par. Look for Moncus to play a leading role this year for Trojan Golf. He’s really come a long way, and the sky is the limit for this young man.
Andrew Friend: Friend is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and has high aspirations for a big year. He is the grandson of World Series champion pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates Bob Friend and the son of former PGA Tour player Bob Friend Jr. Friend also had a few nice finishes this past summer in tournament play.
Jack Goldasich: Goldasich is from Birmingham and will be a red-shirt freshman. We may only have him for one year, as he should have enough college credits to move on to the university level. He was a tremendous junior golfer, but after he had completed his high school senior year, he was suffering from burnout. Goldasich entered the University of Alabama but soon realized how much he missed golf. Last spring, he asked me if he could join the CACC Golf Team, and, as he had previously been a highly recruited player of mine as a junior player, I was happy to invite him aboard. This summer, Goldasich won the Alabama State Amateur Championship at Turtle Point Country Club, beating the best amateur golfers in the state. When I say Goldasich is long, that is a high understatement. He hits the golf ball 20 to 30 yards farther than his brother Sam, who was the longest ball striker I had ever had on the golf team.
Davis Brown: Brown is a freshman from Birmingham who was a multi-sport athlete and only three years ago began to lean more toward golf as his sport of choice. He is a very fit player who will develop into a tremendous golfer at CACC.
Tanner Guthrie: Guthrie is a freshman from Auburn High School. Many golfers in the area know his father, Joe, who owns the Guthrie’s restaurant chain. Joe was a fine player in his own right. Guthrie has grown quite a bit in these past two years and now stands around 6 feet 2 inches tall. His frame fits him well, and he moves the ball a long way. This young man is an athlete and will also become a fine player at CACC.
Genki Sadato: Sadato was born in Tampa, Florida, and was raised and educated in Hiroshima, Japan. He began playing golf at a very young age. I met his father, Eiji, in Japan last year while I coached Team USA in the Toyota Junior World Cup. Eiji was the creator of the Junior World Cup and is presently the tournament director. Many NCAA Division-1 teams recruited Sadato for his tremendous junior golf career in Japan and the U.S., but he and his parents felt that CACC would be a better start for college as his English needs some improvement. Sadato graduated from high school last December and has spent February through the end of July at a language school in Tampa to advance his English. He’ll do just fine at CACC, and we will prepare him well for the next level.
Ken Goforth: Goforth is also from Birmingham and has played a great deal of high-level junior golf over the years. He had a few impressive wins in his senior year of high school, including the Blue-Gray Classic in Montgomery. This young man hits a lot of shots and is so focused on his golf game and education. My biggest challenge will be to get him to take small breaks where he can take a breath every now and again.
Jarod Edwards: Edwards resides in McDonough, Georgia, and was referred to me from quite a few people from that area who I trust. I knew I wanted him on the team after his round of golf at Willow Point Country Club with a couple of last year’s players. Edwards knows how to play the game, and rarely do I get a recruit in on a visit that fires a 69. He won the Georgia High School Golf Championship individually and helped his team at Ola High School win its first state championship. Watch out for big things from this player.
Keith Watkins: I visited an old friend of mine from Georgia last year, and we went out to Georgia National Golf Club to play golf. Two of his friends from McDonough joined us. It turned out to be my friend’s future business partner and his senior high school son. Initially, I didn’t think anything about the arrangement, Watkins was 2-under par and missed some opportunities to go lower. I asked him what his plans were for college golf and to my amazement he had none. I invited Watkins and his father, Joe, to visit CACC, and they both fell in love with the area and the college. It was a no-brainer on my part to invite Watkins to join us. This young man is a sleeper and not many people know about him. I have high hopes that he proves me right and becomes an excellent college golfer.
These boys moved into their apartments earlier this month and started off by playing in the Montgomery County Club Invitational. We crank up the fall tournament schedule Sept. 9 and 10 in Jasper, Alabama, at Musgrove Country Club. I will be adding a complete tournament schedule for the year in next month’s Lake Martin Living, so stay tuned. Follow CACC golf tournament results on Golfstat.com. Normally, daily results are reported immediately after each round of golf. We so appreciate you for your interest and care of Trojan Golf.
~ Dave Jennings is the men’s golf coach at Central Alabama Community College.