Written by Coach Al Hing:
Plymouth Christian Academy Eagle Strikers took their first home meet on Tuesday, in a convincing show of accuracy and patience at Hickory Creek golf course 209 against Charyl Stockwell 295, and 209 against Novi Christian (Did Not Play) DNP.
On a cloudy, cool, blustery day, the Eagles took to the course against the unknown. How would they fare in their first home meet? Having not played against Charyl Stockwell and Novi Christian in the past, how would they fare against unfamiliar faces? How would they play on the soggy surfaces as the rain from the previous evening had left areas saturated and bunkers with very heavy sand?
A later start at 5:30 P.M. would push the pace of play to get to the clubhouse before darkness set in, and visibility to the holes drop to zero. Both teams took to the course, ready to go, ready to play, and ready to have fun playing with new friends.
The first couple holes bathed in sunlight flowed and the teams got off to sluggish, but decent scoring. As the teams hit the fourth hole, the sunny warmth was smothered by heavy gray clouds, and temperatures plummeted. Both team’s players were feeling the chill and scoring became more difficult.
With a slight lead, captain Layne Pries kept the focus on his game. “I felt like Nemo with the sharks,” said Layne Pries, Eagle Captain. “Safe, but always looking to see what could happen if there was just a little blood that could get them excited.” Extending the lead would be against the now chilly winds and the darkening skies.
With players struggling against time, and soggy conditions, Eagles shortened up and focused their shots at the pin. The weather effects lessened and shots hit closer and closer to home. Closing on the seventh hole where the darkening skies would halt the match, both teams reached out to each other to lift spirits and encourage each other.
“I know I could have done better, but there’s so much to know that we can improve,” said Rachel Costello, Eagles #3 player. “The course was wet, and a couple shots were yucky, but overall, it was a lot of fun to play. We talked with the (Charyl Stockwell) players and really it helped us as much as them.”
A little insight is that Charyl Stockwell was just restarting their golf program. “We had a lot of fun, and this being our first year having a team after six years of not having one,” said Joel Calkins, Charyl Stockwell #1 player. “You guys made it really fun to be here, and this is what you want sports to be like. Competitive but friendly and after we’re done playing, we’re friends and can talk and laugh about anything.”
“This being our first competitive meet, I thought we would be super tight and no one would talk to each other,” said Calkins. “What happened was the opposite, it was fun, everyone helped and talked about how to play (the course) and how the different ways the holes played.”
With a shortened match, the teams headed to the club house. “While we took the match, it would have been nice to see what a full nine holes would have done for our scoring,” said Assistant Coach Rob Moore. “Experience helps the team develop and sharpen their skills, so we’ll work on improving.”
“I want to come back and play here, this is beautiful and so much fun to have other players who want everyone to enjoy the game,” said Hannah Keil, Charyl Stockwell #2 player. “As our first time back (with a golf team), this is what you want (to experience) and definitely want to play with this team again.”
The Eagles (4-0-0) next meet is home (Hickory Creek) 4:00 P.M., Thursday, April 24 against InterCity Baptist and Roeper.