River View’s junior high golf team features a wide range of ages

| October 9, 2020
Because it’s a club sport, River View’s junior high golf team doesn’t have to limit itself to just seventh- and eighth-graders. This year the Black Bears are being represented by kindergarten through eighth grade.
“You have to make it fun,” said Chad Gress, who coaches the junior high team and the boys team at the high school. “The golf ball doesn’t know their age. They all have to start somewhere.”
Opening the team up to younger students will help River View have more prepared athletes by the time they get to high school. As a team they’ve already been very competitive this year.
“Our top-three kids all played during the summer, and the younger ones have filled in and learned from them,” Gress said. “We also had two girls who competed during the summer.”
Another aspect helping the team is that their families are behind them. “It’s a drive out here for our kids (to Hickory Flats Golf Course),” Gress said. “It’s a big commitment for the family.”
Three of his children are part of the team.
“I’ve played with them for five years,” Gavin Gress said. “I started when I was 7. It’s really fun. I like it when I can hit one out there a long way.”
Gavin Gress and his brother Colton often trade for top spots on the team.
“It’s fun to be with different age ranges,” Gavin Gress said. “I like to chat with the Tri-Valley kids.”
Their sister Makayla Gress started golfing when she was 2 or 3, and she is now 6. “I like it when I hit a good shot,” she said.
This is Makayla Gress’ first year competing with the team. “I like playing with my friends,” she said.
Also on the team are sisters, Brynn and Taylor Harstine.
“We like it because it is something we can do for a long time and it’s fun,” said Brynn Harstine, who is in the sixth grade. “It’s just you against the course, not other people.”
Taylor Harstine, who is in the third grade, agreed with her sister. “We really like it,” she said. “You are outside, and it’s a fun sport.”
Rylan Everhart said family members taught him to golf. “My grandpa really inspired me,” he said.
This is Everhart’s first year with the team. “I like playing with my friends,” he said. “If you hit a bad shot, they encourage you that the next one is going to be better.”
The team ranges in age from 6-13 and includes one eighth-grader, one seventh-grader, two sixth-graders, one fifth-grader, two fourth-graders, two third-graders, one first-grader and one kindergartner.
River View recently competed against John Glenn and Tri-Valley. Leading for the Black Bears in the boys round was Gavin Gress, 32; Colton Gress, 38; Caleb Kline, 51; Payton Everhart, 54; Rylan Everhart, 55; and Clark Frischen, 61. The girls were led by Brynn Harstine, 52; Taylor Harstine, 58; and Makayla Gress, 62.

Category: Sports, Youth

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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