Golf team holds banquet
By Randy Seal
It was a big year for the Russellville High School golf team, whose boys’ team made it to their fifth straight sub-state appearance after winning the section title at Cypress Lakes golf course.
It was also a year of first as RHS saw the formation of their first girls’ team, which ended the season by finishing 10th out of 14 teams at the sectional tournament.
RHS golf coach Jason Haithcock, who will be leaving RHS, said he was proud of each one of his players.
“I am so proud to see where these kids started at the beginning of this year and how far they came,” Haithcock said.
“The boys had another great season and they improved so much from day one.
“The girls worked so hard and showed so much improvement.
“I think it’s safe to say that whomever takes this golf program over next year, they will be walking into a wonderful situation and I really hate that I won’t be here to see it.
“The boys team should make it back to the state championship next year and I feel after next year that the girls team will compete in 2-4 straight state championships.
“The girls team is so young and has so much potential to be great and I can’t wait to see how far they go.”
Several of Haithcock’s players said he will be greatly missed.
“My favorite thing about Coach Haithcock was that he was always encouraging,” Luke Bendall said.
“He saw the light in the dark. He always had the right thing to say at the right time with a smile. He never wanted to put any of us down. He only wanted to encourage us and for us to do our best and have fun doing it.”
Senior Aaron Jackson agreed.
“He wasn’t just a coach – he was a good person and was always there for you when you needed him,” Jackson said.
Haithcock said he will be taking eight years worth of memories with him as he leaves RHS, many of which came from his time as the golf coach.
“I have enjoyed every single minute that I have spent at Russellville,” he said.
“I came here eight years ago to be part of a great school system and to learn more about coaching football, but while I was here I fell in love with golf.
“Getting the opportunity to work for Coach Swindall and Coach Goodwin was an opportunity of a lifetime. Coaching in state championship football games and state championship golf matches was an amazing experience, but the things I will remember most about Russellville are the wonderful parents, students, athletes, and fellow teachers.
“The way the people in this community treated me and my family is something I’ll never forget and the friendships we made here are never ending. My only regret is that it has come to an end, but sometimes God places you where he wants you to be.
“I can assure you that the first score I check on Friday nights in the fall will be Russellville and I will keep up in the spring on how the golf team is doing. It has been great to be a Golden Tiger.”
>Awards presented at the 2014 RHS golf banquet were:
• Most improved players: Girl – Ashton Moore; Boy – Joshua Seal
• Scoring Champions: Girl – Morgan Moon; Boy – Eli Hodges
• Captains: Girl – Macy Reeves; Boy – Aaron Jackson