This is the time of year when I get a little excited when talking about my golf team. Central Alabama Community College Trojan golfers have enjoyed another really good year, and we still have to play the Shangri-La golf course for the NJCAA National Championship.

The community’s support of the Trojan golf program and the CACC athletic department plays a role. Athletic budgets cannot sustain everything for the various programs, so our athletes rely on the financial and moral support of the community to continually offer high-quality opportunities for these tremendous student-athletes. I feel so blessed to be living in Alexander City where I witness residents’ generosities. 

Golfstat presently ranks the Trojan golf team fifth in the NJCAA men’s division. This year, the boys have won five tournaments, along with the region championship. The team just returned from Marion, Illinois, where the golfers finished second in the district championship. This is the event that qualifies NJCAA teams for the national championship. This year four CACC golfers had individual wins, and the team had a great number of top-five finishes. 

In addition, it looks like the boys will once again finish their academic school years as Team Academic All-Americans, especially with Jack Poole placed on the President’s List and Caleb O’Toole, Owen Burt and Dylan Moncus on the Dean’s List.

My graduating sophomore golfers are all destined to continue their college experiences elsewhere. Caleb O’Toole and Jack Poole will both be transferring to Western Kentucky University with golf scholarships. Noah Dennis will be playing golf for University of Montevallo, and Owen Burt will continue his college golf career at Huntingdon College. Reed Love has been offered some golf scholarship opportunities, but he has chosen to transfer to the University of Alabama-Birmingham, where he may have the chance to walk-on. 

At CACC, the golf program works, and it works well. Teachers and coaches continue to educate and develop student athletes who move on to make positive impacts in the world. I am proud to be part of this process.

Our 2018-2019 CACC Trojan Golf Player of the Year is Caleb O’Toole. It’s easy to brag about this young man. This year Caleb has won three tournaments, which gives him a total of five victories over his two years. This year, he has finished in the top 10 in every tournament but one. He, along with teammate Reed Love, earned PING All-Region status. 

Caleb is the last of the O’Toole clan who will play golf with me. Caleb’s brother John Michael and cousin Cody O’Toole also were outstanding golfers and students at CACC. I’m going to miss this connection, but it will be rewarding to monitor their futures. Caleb and Jack Poole have both been team leaders, and I know that Western Kentucky’s golf program will flourish with these two on the team.

Next year, I will have three returning golfers: Alexander City’s Dylan Moncus; Andrew Friend from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Jackson Schultz from McDonough, Georgia. 

I also am thrilled with our group of incoming freshmen: Jared Edwards and Keith Watkins, from McDonough, Georgia; Ken Goforth and Davis Brown from Birmingham; Tanner Guthrie from Auburn and Genki Sadato from Japan. Each one of these six young men have had tremendous junior golf careers, and they are all excited to make a big impact on the legacy of CACC golf.

Our national championship will be played May 14 to 17 at Duran Golf Club in Melbourne, Florida. This is a great golf course, and the boys have played it in past tournaments. 

You are invited to follow the live scoring at www.golfstat.com. Click on schedules and results and search for NJCAA Men's National Champ. DI. Scores will be updated every six holes. Caleb O’Toole, Jack Poole, Owen Burt, Reed Love and Dylan Moncus will represent the Trojans. I have a strong feeling they will be in the hunt again this year, and the team has high hopes of bringing back a seventh national championship to Alexander City. 

Thank you again for your ongoing support of CACC golf and CACC athletics. You make all the difference in the world. You are special, and speaking for all of our Trojan athletes, we appreciate you very much. 

Go Trojans! 

~ Dave Jennings is the men’s golf coach for Central Alabama Community College.