Turner Junior High is sending a talented group of golfers to Peoria this weekend to compete at the state tournament.
Turner golf coach Aaron Folker says golfing wasn’t even offered as a sport for students attending the junior high until 2015. In fact, the only member of last year’s team was Folker’s son, Aydin, who finished 13th at state.
New to the 2016 team are four seventh graders, Trey Bourn, Tysyn Mast, Jaret Zoellner and Brady Kaufman.
Turner’s golf team doesn’t compete in a regular season, so the team has been practicing all summer for the sectional tournament in Petersburg, which took place last weekend.
Folker was impressed that his team finished in the top third of the 74 golfers competing.
“Brady was second, Aydin was third, Tysyn was fourth and Trey was tenth. I was comparing scores throughout the state and Brady and Aydin would be in the top ten. I feel really good about their chances at state this weekend,” says Folker.
The top 21 golfers at the sectionals were able to punch their ticket to state. Folker says Zoellner missed the cut “by just a few strokes”, but knows the seventh grader “has a bright future” in the sport.
The state tournament is at the Kellogg Golf Course in Peoria on Saturday. WLDS-WEAI News will post the scores of the local golfers on our Facebook page once play is concluded.
Folker says the season may end this weekend, but his players won’t be retiring the clubs just yet.
“They will practice until frost hits. They love playing. They will play until dark. They start again in February as soon as we can get out there. Tournaments for the prep-tour start in March, so they will be doing that next year.”
The team plans on doing a mentoring program this fall to show younger golfers the rules of the course.