Brenten Ormsby was inches away from a hole-in-one at a varsity invitational at Wamego Country Club earlier in the season.
It was a moment two years in the making and one the high school senior is finally able to enjoy in the program that he helped start.
“It feels pretty good to know that I presented a program for future generations to play for the team and just come out and have a good time,” he said. “You don’t have to necessarily be a great player. You just come out and have a great time.”
Ormsby helped give students at Eudora High School the opportunity to participate in golf when he and coach Susan DeVoe asked the School Board about starting a team two years ago.
The team was going to have its inaugural season last year, but it was canceled due to COVID-19.
Therefore, this spring is the first time that the varsity team has been able to hit the links, participating in three tournaments so far.
“I haven’t performed quite like I want to, but I hope all of us by the end of the season do pretty well,” Ormsby said.
Ormsby was first introduced to golf during his freshman year at a fundraiser tournament at Twin Oaks. He then started golfing more in the summer and enjoyed it even more. However, it wasn’t until last summer that he started to take it more seriously.
“Everything was pretty much closed down, and it was like one of the only things I could do,” he said. “I couldn’t really hang out with my friends too much. We could still hang out sometimes, but it was one of those things that I could still go out and do and it was actually pretty nice.”
The addition of the boys golf team to Eudora High School athletics has created opportunities for 15 students who may not have otherwise played a spring sport.
Senior Ben Thorne said the golf team opens more opportunities for students who want to learn to play the game.
“Personally, I really enjoy golf, which is why I would just not really play a sport other than golf, which is why I’m super happy that we started this team,” he said.
Freshman Derek Lehmann said playing on the golf team has been a good experience because of the coaches.
“They teach really well, and I’ve gotten way better,” he said. “It’s been a fun experience.”
Lehmann said he played golf occasionally before joining the team.
“All my friends are here, and if I’m playing alone it's kind of boring,” he said. “The only way I can play is if my friends are there.”
Ormsby said he is happy that underclassmen have found a sport that they enjoy.
“There’s a lot of underclassmen that don’t do any other sports, so they decide to come out for golf because you don’t have to be a super athlete to play it,” he said. “They came out for this, and they really enjoy it and I’m glad they found something that they enjoy.”
DeVoe said she was glad the School Board took a chance with the golf team because many other high schools already had one.
“There was no other 4A [school] that did not have a boys' team,” she said.
When there isn’t a scheduled practice, Ormsby likes to get extra practice in at Canyon Farms Golf Club in Lenexa, where he works. He spends up to 13 hours a week participating in scheduled team practices and practicing at Canyon Farms.
“I usually practice about every day, unless the weather isn’t cooperating,” he said. “Every now and then, I’ll take one day off just to spend time with family.”
Ormsby said his ultimate goal is to play golf in college, but he said he isn’t sure if he will play the first two years as he plans on attending community college.
“I visited Fort Scott and they kinda said if I wanted to be on the team, it might not be a golf scholarship, but they'll find a scholarship for me,” he said.
Ormsby hopes the golf program thrives in the future, and he has been grateful to have the opportunity to compete this season.
“I’m glad there's a huge interest in the high school, and I hope there’s interest in the future,” he said. “I’m just super glad we got this. I got one year in, and I’m just super appreciative that we got this one year in since last year was canceled.”
The varsity boys will next compete at a tournament Wednesday at Lamont Hill Golf Resort in Vassar.
Reach reporter Chris Fortune at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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