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Western Reserve made huge strides in first season

By DON HOHLER • Sep 24, 2018 at 9:00 PM

COLLINS — Stoney Jarrett knows football as well basketball.

He has coached the latter sport at the junior varsity level since 1988. This fall, he has taken on a new challenge, that of Western Reserve’s first golf coach.

Jarrett is no stranger to the game. For years, he has paired with fellow Western Reserve teacher Jerry Moore in league play at Eagle Creek. Both are solid players and often compete for the league title.

“I guess I seemed like the perfect fit,” Jarrett said. “Having a son on the team made it even more likely.”

Jarrett, who did not get his team onto a practice area, in their case, Thunderbird North, until Aug. 1, had to accept the fact that his team could not have their cards counted in the Firelands Conference tournament last week in Ashland.

“No problem,” the easy-going Jarrett said. “For most of the team, it is still a learning experience. My son, Matt, is the only team member that has any kind of competitive experience. He has played in some LEJGA events.”

Jarrett is quick to add, however, that he has good athletes teeing the ball up. And they proved that at Brookside Golf Course when they shot a 388, a number that would have placed them fourth behind undefeated New London (348), Plymouth (355) and Crestview (361). Certainly not bad total when one considers the team has had just eight matches.

“They have made huge strides from August until now,” Jarrett said. “And some of these young men did not even have clubs. In fact, Matt’s twin brother who plays football, lent his set to one of the players.

“We are very fortunate to have Thunderbird North and its practice area across the road,” he added. “Recognizing that the players short games is perhaps more important than driving the ball, we work on that aspect a lot.”

Jarrett said he doesn’t really feel like he’s a coach.

“And I say that because I have always been a football coach this time of the year,” he said. “I have never attended a golf match until last month — so I learned just like the players. I call myself, the team advisor, which means I lend what expertise I believe can help.

“I do know that in watching a match, be it advisor or coach, it takes a lot of patience,” Jarrett added. “I know how tough this game can be, so when I see some of these kids shear 20 strokes off their totals since August — I know they have taken this game seriously.”

The nice part, is Jarrett’s team is made up of two sophomores and four freshmen. It’s very possible that in a couple years he will be able to just settle back and watch what will then be a veteran team challenge for a conference title.

No question, Matt Jarrett is the strongest player on the team. He played Brookside last Thursday in 85 strokes, going out in 42 and coming back in 43. That total was bested by just three players in the conference, New London seniors Jaylen Moffitt (36-44—80) and Ben Crawshaw (40-44—84), and Crestview’s No. 1 player, senior Hayden McMillan (43-38—81).

The other Western scores came from sophomores John Skrada (50-49—99) and Luke Rawlinson (46-54—100), and freshmen Gary Uhler (52-52—104), Camden Hankins (53-60—113) and Breck Kinney (61-59—120).

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