GolfAn Epic Tale

Eighteen men. All were chosen by skill and had one dream: to hit a small white ball with large stick into a slightly larger hole using the least amount of swings. These eighteen men belong to the golf team, and this is their story. It all started on a cool August morning. Over 40 men had the chance to live their dream, to be on the Ames High School Golf Team. After grueling tryouts, the strongest, both physically and emotionally, were selected for the team. They were called “The Eighteen”. These eighteen men set out on a journey, a journey that would distract them from the less important things in life (school, girls, food), but would not stray their attention from their main goal, victory. “I’m guessing that I missed around ten full days of school thanks to the golf team,” senior Jason Marrs, one of The Eighteen, said. “And I don’t regret missing any of it.” A wise man once said, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” So this year’s golf team decided to prepare for success in the only way they could think of: practice. “We practiced as a team for an hour and a half every day after school,” sophomore Anson Woodin said. “And I would usually practice for an hour a night on my own.” The dedication of these eighteen men proved that they were serious and that they would be a team to be reckoned with. As tournaments were played and completed, the team gained something that could not be taught in even the most rigorous practices, experience in the field. After losing five seniors from the previous year, experience was all this young team needed to be able to play with the big teams. “Our team was really hurt by the loss of those seniors,” senior Alex Jarnigan said. “But we knew that if we could get some good new players, we would be in good shape.” And good players flocked like geese, and they were in such good shape, the squares and circles were quivering. The team consistently placed in the top four of all their meets. They even won the Ankeny Invite. This team had the skill, the experience, and the confidence to make sure that other teams wouldn’t stomp over them. They knew that they could play and they played the best they could. “We had the confidence that so many teams lacked,” senior Jeremy Hurley said. “And we made sure that teams would remember the Little Cyclones.” And then the time came, Districts. For this, only the best of the best were chosen. Only five of The Eighteen were allowed to participate, and these people would have the job of proving that Ames High shouldn’t only be known for its good-looking student body. So five were chosen, and like choosing between different pieces of spaghetti, all taste really good, but only the best stay on the fork. These five represented Ames High and represented it well. The team as a whole needed to have at least the 3rd lowest total score out of 13 teams to qualify for state and the pressure was on. “We shot a 302 as a team and were neck and neck with Mason City who had yet to finish,” senior David Warning said. “It was one of the most nerve racking days of my life.” Mason City shot 305. “We received encouraging words from our team mentor, B-Hurl, ‘win the ‘ship baby, win it for Ames High Pride!” Ames High was off to Bettendorf for one last test, State. Maybe they had run out of steam, maybe playing 3 hours away from home affected their play, but for whatever reason there was, the Ames High Golf Team was only able to muster a 9th place finish out of 12 teams. The journey was over. “We had a great season and I will remember this journey forever,” senior Jason Marrs said. “What I learned from this experience, I will take with me for as long as I live. And thus was the story of the team that could, the team that believed, the team of hope, the Ames High Golf Team. And all was good.