Five Forks and Loganville Middle Schools were co-winners of the Middle School Golf League Fall Season. Members of the co-winning teams included Five Forks: Abe and Jack Allred, Logan Coffman, McKinlee Proctor and Charles Robinson; and from Loganville: Payton and Riley Green, Jackson McAleer, Allison Mays and John McElroy.
“We culminated our season with the individual skills competition of our Drive, Chip and Putt Contest.” said League Director Les Witmer. “Covid-19 impacted our season but not the enthusiasm of these junior golfers to get outside and away from virtual learning.”
According to Witmer, modifications because of the pandemic included running the skills competition in small groups of 20 at a time, and with 105 players it took all afternoon. The overall winners of the Drive, Chip and Putt competition were Paige Greco for the girls and Mathew Mitchell for the boys from Couch Middle School. Thomas Teffner, Lanier Middle School, won the Drive Competition and also during the year shot a hole in one at Trophy Club of Apalachee on the 125-yard third hole.
“In addition to our weekly best ball team play and our individual skills competition we have a 9-hole individual stroke tournament for the top juniors,” added Witmer. “We had two flights, one from the forward red tees and one from the junior tees and this season’s winners included: red flight Ava Bryan (45) for the girls and Jackson McAleer (33) for the boys, and for the junior flight, McKinlee Proctor (40) for the girls and Avery Brown (41) for the boys.”
Witmer added that it was quite different with the parents and marshals’ orientations and the awards presentations done via Zoom. Also, precautions were taken with mask-wearing and social distancing and limited player groupings during the season’s opening clinics and instruction.
“The 105 players represented teams from Bay Creek, Couch, Creekland, Crews, Dacula, Five Forks, Hull, Loganville, McConnell, Shiloh, Trickum and Youth Middle Schools,” said Witmer. “And again, this fall we played at seven different golf courses including Bear Creek and Providence Golf Courses in Monroe, Summit Chase Country Club and Country Club of Gwinnett in Snellville, Cedar Lake Golf Course in Loganville and Collins Hill Golf Course in Lawrenceville and Trophy Club of Apalachee in Dacula.
According to Witmer the Most Improved Golfer Awards for the fall season were given to Lauryn Wright for Bay Creek; Christopher Jefferson, Noella Bowens and Catherine Langley for Couch, Rafael Workman for Creekland; Aiden Tran and Ella Dunn for Crews, Charlie Westbrook for Dacula; Abe Allred for Five Forks; Brandon Williams for Hull; Allison Mays and Christian Guzman for Loganville; Aiden Danzy and Alex Witherspoon for McConnell; Thomas Crawley for Shiloh; Trace Wood, Kai McIntyre, Zack Reffing and Hosaena Kirubel for Trickum; and Taylor Wells for Youth.
The Middle School Golf League is organized through the South Gwinnett Athletic Association and plays mainly on Sunday afternoons during both fall and spring seasons.
“We began our season again with a clinic for all, an extra on-course clinic for new players to golf or the league in preparation for their team best-ball play and a practice round to get everyone organized,” said Witmer. “Then four weeks of team best-ball play and then we introduced them to stroke play where everyone got to play their own ball for an individual score, then the more experienced juniors participated in a 9-hole tournament, “added Witmer. “Our season culminated with a Drive, Chip and Putt competition, and awards presentation.”
The 2021 Spring Season for the Middle School Golf League will begin in March with play through the end of the school year in May.