Winter is almost here. The weather has become colder. There has been rain and even snow. Most golfers are putting their “sticks” away. Only the diehards continue to play here while others head south to pursue the warm weather and golf. So why would there be an interest in golf at Eagle Point High School now? The reason is that even though it was thought the high school golf program would be eliminated, it is alive and well at Eagle Point High School and, hopefully, spring can’t be to far away.
Last spring due to state educational funding decreases, the District 9 administration, budget committee and board had to make many difficult decisions regarding programs when they set this year’s budget. One of the programs eliminated was the golf program. When this was discussed at the board workshop and meeting, there was an outpouring of people who volunteered to help the program. Many have helped in the past. Leading the effort were Eagle Point Golf Club owners Chris and Sue Galpin with able assistance from head professional Patrick Oropallo. They contributed use of the practice area and championship Robert Trent Jones course to the team. Others including Bill Doss, Earl Wood, Dick Nabozny and Wyn and Bert Lewis contributed golf bags and balls. The coaches for Eagle Point and Rogue River held a golf outing fund-raiser, as did Mark Cook and Ray Foulon. Many people turned out for these events to support the team.
Subsequent to the budget decision, a number of people worked with the board, administration and new Athletic Director, Bryan Wood, to keep the program alive, although in a different format. The program is now a club sport, the “Eagle Point High School Golf Club”, open to both men and women, with volunteer coaches and total outside financial support. Bruce Lemmerman has stepped forward as coach and Patrick Oropallo will also lend his expertise. Instruction will be provided as well as some clubs and balls available for those who are in need of equipment. Even though the program is a club sport, there will continue to be matches with other schools and the chance to compete in district and state competitions. Lemmerman stated, “Assistant coaches are needed for both the boys and girls teams. If interested in assisting, please leave your name at the Eagle Point Golf Club. He will contact those who volunteer about January 1.”
Club coordinator and parent of high school golfers, Darrell Scott, stated that “unlike many other sports, golf can be a lifetime activity and it is beneficial to learn the game and get involved early.” Oropallo will introduce the club to students at an upcoming assembly at the school. He stated, “high school students, male or female, experienced golfer or beginner, there is a program in Eagle Point for you. There is no participation fee. You can sign up at the school.”
For more information, contact Bruce at 541-826-8225.
By Bill Frieke
for the Independent