Sixth, seventh and eighth graders from Cottonwood Middle School, the Mountain View Preparatory and the Oak-Creek School make up the team. Head coach J.R. Roland and two MVP eighth-graders Myles Rice and Madison Mathis accepted the check.
“We’re just trying to expose them to the game of golf and offer them another sport for boys and girls and the same time and the team has been going together as a school sport for the last 17 years,” Roland said.
Originally the team was just CMS students but expanded to include Oak Creek and MVP kids as well. Roland, head coach for the team’s whole history, said right now MVP provides the most players.
“We were just kinda limiting ourselves with just one school, let’s go ahead and let these other kids have that opportunity to be able to try the game of golf and so it’s grown,” Roland said. “Right now we’re just trying to be a feeder system into Mingus high school, is what we’re trying to do.”
The program has grown to as many as 28 players and so many that they no longer worry about not being able to field a team.
The middle school program helped launched the girls’ golf team at Mingus Union, which debuted this school year.
The team is accepting donations to help students cover the $60 pay for play fee or other things like unused clubs for players who can’t afford a full set.
The middle school students also volunteer at the Cottonwood Cooler Golf Challenge in August.
“We try get some of the kids together and the Mingus high school team also shows up and they help with the bags and just trying to get players out to the holes once they’re sent out for the tournament and they help out with just setting up and tearing down and making sure that the tournament is going to be well ran as far as anybody needing any help out on the holes,” Roland said.