TENNERTON – When Jason Westfall took over the Buckhannon-Upshur golf team as head coach four years ago, he took on a low-number, underclassman, and little-experienced program.
This team took its lumps, but Westfall knew that if his young team worked hard and stayed together, good things were on the horizon.
Now in 2021, after an appearance at the state tournament where they finished eighth last season and started 9-1 this year, Westfall has put together one of the better teams in the state.
“Now when we look back at how inexperienced we all were, it is amazing to see how we have all grown together,” said Westfall. “We started with five players in 2018 and they meant a lot to me and this program. Four of them will graduate this year. Seeing their growth was very special. You have achieved a lot and have gone through the festival and famine. They stuck together and bonded … they may not realize it now, but it will last their lives. ”
With a senior squad of Evan Coffman, Isaac Lane, Landon Hitt and Tucker Hurst, Westfall and the Bucs are looking for more than just a trip to the States this season.
“Our expectations are clear to us,” said Westfall. “The moment we left the course in the States last year, we knew that we wanted to come back and fight for the title. We hug it. It is a product of their hard work and skill. We have a “why not us?” Mentality this season. Our seniors still have a lot in the tank and we are excited to see where it goes.
“Evan, Isaac and Landon are in good shape. You hit the ball well and like to play. They would play all day. You want to be the best. Landon and Evan spent the winter in Florida working on their game. You worked countless hours on your swing. Evan also competed in Junior Callaway that summer and did well. You are ready to go. Isaac is so talented. He doesn’t even realize how good he can be at times. He is stable and ready to go. Tucker hits it well and will get in shape. Tucker can be as good as anyone and nothing upsets him. I expect he’s ready. They have a lot of experience and know what is important. “
The roster has a total of 12 members, including juniors Brayden Hamer and Jesse Hackett, second graders Jaden Westfall and Tucker Burr, and newcomers Jevon Westfall, Easton Perkins, Parker Lockwood and Taylor Spratt.
The high numbers will enable Westfall to run a junior varsity program this season.
“With my juniors, Hamer is a returning player and has the talent to be a great player,” said Westfall. “It still has some rough spots, but it’s growing. He’s trying to get into the top 4 and he’s making progress. Hackett is new to the range. He loves to play with his grandfather and father and thought he would try the competitive part one day. He’s improving quickly. The sophomores, Burr and Jaden Westfall, are competing for a place in college. They are good rackets but are still trying to take full course management. You have had some good results in practice. We have a big freshman class that I’m looking forward to. They are talented, starting with Perkins, he is precise and knows how to find his way around the track. Spratt has the drive and work ethic to be a good player. Jevon Westfall, he has a smooth swing and is consistent. Lockwood is our left-hander in the group. He has great potential. His short game is his strong point. We have competition in our ranks, what the coaches want. Every player competes and earns their place. The lower class has a chance, but this upper class is not going to give it up yet. Go through the process every day to compete for the success of your whole wheat bread. “
The high number of players will enable Westfall to have a junior varsity program this season.
“We have been working on building our program since my first year,” commented Westfall. “I encouraged the students to participate. A little bit of success helps spark that flame, and it’s great to see so many kids performing for the team. “
The Bucs will again compete in a competitive Big 10 Conference and Region I.
“We expect a good and friendly competition this season,” said Westfall. “Everyone is working to make it to the States. The Big 10 Conference is a good challenge, both in terms of the courses we play and the players. Our region is, as always, strong with defending champion Wheeling Park. We’ll see them in the middle of the season. Our schedule is full of great courses, great players, and state qualifiers. “
Westfall said the team’s success would not be possible without the support of the community.
“I think our community has a great golf foundation and tradition,” Westfall concluded. “I want to thank the community for their support. I would also like to thank Buckhannon Country Club and President Dusty Zickefoose for starting their course and supporting the program. I would like to thank the administration and especially our sporting director Rick Reynolds for their endless support. “
BU GOLF ROSTER
August 4th – at Polish Pines, Keyser
August 9th – at the Pines Country Club, Morgantown
August 16 – home game
August 17th – on the Alpine Golf Course, Kingwood
August 18 – at Tygart Lake Golf Course, Grafton
August 19 – at the Bel Meadows Golf Course, Mount Clare
August 21 – at the Green Hills Country Club, Fairmont
August 23rd – home game
August 24th – at Oglebay Resort, Wheeling
August 25th – in Bridgeport
August 27th – home game
September 2nd – at the Stonewall Resort, Weston
September 3 – Bel Meadows Golf Course, Mount Clare (Buccaneer Invitational)
September 7th – in Preston
September 8th – at the Green Hills Country Club, Fairmont
September 10th – home game
September 13 – at Elks Golf Course, Elkins
September 15th – at Mountainview Golf Course, Morgantown
September 20 – Big 10 Conference Championships in Bel Meadows
September 22nd – at the Stonewall Resort (Route 33 Cup)