The school board approved the new sport at Wednesday’s meeting, giving the school four athletic opportunities for the fall season — football, cross country, volleyball and now golf. The new option will be run as a club, rather than a full-fledged sport, at least for the first year.
“We’ve had some interest over the years; we’ve had individuals (who) have been interested in playing the sport,” athletic director Ryan Falknor said.
“I don’t know how much interest we’re going to have, if it’s going to be a full club team or if it’ll just be an individual or two. ... We’re just kind of feeling it out, seeing if we can sustain some interest over the next couple years. Then hopefully we’ll be able to add it as a board-approved sanctioned sport. This year we’re going to try and compete in some local tournaments and just give kids the opportunity to have the chance to get involved.”
The club will need a certain number of players to participate in events that aren’t considered invitational tournaments.
“It’ll depend on what kind of interest we get,” Falknor said, referring to the club’s participation.
Either way though, the athletic director said it’s “a good opportunity for students to get involved.”
With the exception of Monroeville and South Central, the Firelands Conference offers golf as an official sport.
“This kind of aligns us with our conference,” Falknor said.
“This is one that we’re interested in adding because there are currently four or five schools in our conference. So we’d be adding to that, where there’s a conference schedule already. There are some logistical things we’ll have to iron out, as far as like what could be our home course and transporting kids, getting people to events and those sorts of things. It’s a process we’re just kind of working through and hopefully thorough the next year we can figure it all out.”
Falknor said the club will have to decide include if there’s enough interest whether or not to make golf co-ed and where to hold practice, since there’s nothing set up on the Western campus to accommodate golf yet.
“There’s a lot of room out here, so I think that we can probably hopefully find some places that are suitable for that. But no, we haven’t gotten into those details yet,” he said, adding there are also some local courses that might allow the school to use their grounds for a team fee.
“There would be some fundraising efforts, things of that nature because the school won’t have any financial responsibility in making this work since it is a club sport. It’ll all be funded through donations and fundraising efforts.”
The club will begin with the new school year.