Published 1:19 pm Monday, March 13, 2006
By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
These are indeed great times for the T.R. Miller High School golf team.
Their program is coming off a sixth place state finish a year ago and return the core of that lineup this season. T.R. Miller just finished participation in the prestigious Blue-Gray Tournament in Montgomery, an event that features many of the top teams in the state in all classes.
While the focus is and rightfully should be focused on the present, it is not too early to wonder where the program could be headed after this year.
With all five of this year's players being seniors, will there even be a golf team at T.R. Miller next year.
While the program's numbers have been fairly stable in recent years, T.R. Miller athletic director Jamie Riggs said the amount of participation in golf at the school has gone through cycles.
Owens is unsure of what can be done between now and next season to promote interest and keep the program alive.
Riggs added it is tough for “individual” team sports because there are no feeder programs in the school system.
Riggs added golf is a sport where a student can't just show up at the start of the season and hope to be competitive.
If golf program is forced to shut down after this year due to lack of interest, Riggs admits it could be tough to get it started back up. A similar scenario is across
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Murder Creek where W.S. Neal's program shut down after the 2004 season and has been unable to get restarted due to lack of interest.
Riggs added he does not want the school to continue the sport just for the sake of having a team.
Riggs admits it is far too early to worry about next year.
High School golf in Alabama could have a different look in the near future if the Alabama High School Athletic Association passes a proposal to make it a fall sport instead of spring.
In addition to course availability, Riggs added weather would also be a plus for fall play.
The down side for switching golf to spring would be many schools would have to find new coaches. Some players might also have to make a choice they don't want to make.