When the Chattahoochee Valley Middle School golf league completed its fall season last weekend, the teams of students in grades 6-8 from 10 area schools saw the best among them singled out for honors.
But not all of the awards were for victories on the golf course.
“Our goal in the CVMS is to teach young men and women the game of golf,” said Neill Hatcher, who organizes, administers and oversees the league in cooperation with The First Tee of Columbus. “We want every player to develop their skills. However, the league was formed to teach much more. We strive to teach young men and women how to live their lives.”
That's why among Saturday's awards there was a special “Living the Values Award” bestowed on one player from each of the 10 schools who demonstrates on and off the course the core values that are part of the learning experience taught by The First Tee.
“We, the coaches, feel that this is the highest award given to any player,” Hatcher said.
Taking home those awards were: Austin McMickle of Veterans; Sabrina Rumsbaugh of Faith; Kyle Wilson of Richards; Jonathan Singer of Blackmon Road; Joshua Abraham of Midland; Garrett McGlamory of St. Luke; Sydney Hollingsworth of Brookstone; Peyton Good of Phenix City Intermediate; Benjamin Cantrall of St. Anne; and Marvin Lewis of Arnold. Dougie Stephens was selected by the coaches for the 11th Value Award.
The values include honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgment.
There also were winners on the course. St. Luke won the varsity division, with Brookstone finishing as runner-up. In the junior varsity division, Brookstone was champion, with St. Luke runner-up. Brookstone's James Clark was named Male Player of the Year, and Alex Harrell of Phenix City was named Female Player of the Year.
In the Varsity City Championship Tournament, St. Anne was the victor, with Brookstone runner-up. Playing for St. Anne were Parker Derby, Max Williams, Carl van Rensburg and Andrew Brookind. Brookstone's players were James Clark, Mercer Clark, Jack Mize and Charlie Flowers.
Top individual finishers in the varsity tourney were: Alex Harrell of Phenix City first; Derby second; James Clark third; Will Johnson of St. Luke fourth; and Flowers fifth.
St. Luke won the Junior Varsity City Championship Tournament, besting Blackmon Road to take the trophy. Playing for St. Luke were Stanton Schorr, Connor Todd, Ed Jenkins and Hayley Abell. Blackmon Road's players were Bennett Wilson, Daviss McKinstry, Harrison Kurtz and Austin Royal.
Top individual finishers in the junior varsity competition were: Schorr first; Chase Abbott of Phenix City second; Kurtz third; Henry Paris of Brookstone fourth; and Abell fifth.
The end-of-season awards also included recognition for the most improved golfers: Sarah Grace Drop, St. Anne; Ryan Pittman, Veterans; Arisa Wetherill, Midland; Zach Smith, Phenix City; Kenneth McPhaul, Arnold; Daniel Cantrell, Faith; Harrison Fletcher, St. Luke; William Edwards, Richards; Jackson Gordy, Blackmon Road; and James Clark, Brookstone.
The final event of the season will take place next Saturday and Sunday, when 16 middle-schoolers who qualified through league play will tee it up in the Sweet Sixteen Match Play Tournament. The 16 are James Clark, Alex Harrell, Charlie Flowers, Will Johnson, Sabrina Rumsbaugh, Bo Hatcher, Mercer Clark, Jack Mize, Stanton Schorr, Max Williams, Mason Bunn, Cody Kostelac, John Caruso, Henry Paris, Carl van Rensburg and Zach Smith.