E.A. Sports Today

Getting out early

SKCC notes: Tournament committee helps players with high school football responsibilities make their tee time and the game

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

SILVER LAKES – Fridays in September are always reserved for high school football. This Friday in September, however, was also reserved for the return of the Sunny King Charity Classic.


To be an active participant in both took a little creative scheduling and some petitioning to the powers who set the tee times.

Those golfers with football responsibilities needed an early tee time Friday if they wanted to play. Some football coaches couldn’t play – and it just killed them to not be here. A few others got lucky.

Weaver line coach Justin Brown was the first off (7 a.m.) at Anniston Country Club. Not only did he need to play early, he needed to play fast.

The Bearcats were leaving for a road game at Armuchee (Ga.) at 1 p.m. and if you’re not on coach Gary Atchley’s bus when it pulled out of the lot, well, Armuchee is 75 miles and another time zone away from Weaver High School.

Getting the early tee time “weighed heavy on me,” Brown, the Weaver golf coach and wrestling assistant, said, and he sought some assurances before he even paid the registration fee. He got in and through in plenty of time and never felt rushed.

His wakeup call came at 5:15 a.m., which is about 45 minutes earlier than he usually gets up for school.

“It was early, but it had to happen or I wouldn’t have been able to play,” Brown said. “Without getting done at this time, it wouldn’t have happened. I told (partner Cody Cochran) if it came down to it we would have to leave.”

Craig Kiker and Ben Phillips has similar concerns. They had game set-up responsibility for Alexandria’s homecoming game against Cleburne County. In addition to setting up the game’s end zone camera, they paint the field. They secured the second tee time at ACC and were done in time to share some lunch before heading to the stadium.

“If we couldn’t have played in the morning we probably couldn’t have played,” said Kiker, the Cubs’ golf and girls basketball coach. “I didn’t know where we were playing when I heard when they were going to play this, but I knew we needed to go early. We really appreciate them letting us do that because that was important to us.”

Bob Jones offensive line coach Matt Sweatman regularly plays in the tournament when it’s in July, but couldn’t play in the tournament because of his football commitments with the Huntsville-area school. Oxford assistant coach Jeff Bain was a late replacement in another group, but the Yellow Jackets played their game Thursday night.

BIG MONEY: Four players in the field were selected at random for the big-money shots at the end of Sunday’s round. Mike Hughston will take the big-money putt for $50,000, Tyler Huckaby and David Holt will take fairway shots for $100,000 and Dustin Beckman will take a fairway shot for $1 million.

Some players might be nervous with two days to think about it, but not Hughston, who shot 68 with partner Jimbo Phillips in the scramble at Silver Lakes.

“I putted really good today so I’m looking forward to the opportunity,” he said. “I’m ready to go when needed.”

ALMOST ACE: There were no hole-in-one prizes awarded during Friday’s opening round, but they came close. Taylor Morrow hit it to within four inches on Silver Lakes’ Heartbreaker No. 8 from 154 yards.

LECROY RETURNS: Anniston’s Jacob LeCroy, the Anniston half of the record-setting title tandem in 2019, couldn’t play with partner Jacob Harper in this year’s September SKCC because he’s in school at South Alabama, but he will be at Silver Lakes this weekend.

LeCroy will be playing in UAB’s Graeme McDowell Intercollegiate at Silver Lakes after qualifying No. 3 for the Jaguars. The tournament practice round is Sunday before the field plays 36 holes Monday and 18 Tuesday.

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