Kennett golfers look to enjoy 'Last Dance' at SEMO Conference Senior Golf Tournament
The Kennett senior golfers missed an opportunity to claim their third straight district title when their season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic this spring.
But they will have one more opportunity to wear the Kennett uniform next week at SEMO Conference Senior Golf Tournament at Fox Haven Country Club in Sikeston on July 9.
“We are really proud as a conference we were able to put something like this together,” Kennett golf coach and athletic director Jim Vaughan said. “If nothing else the seniors will get the opportunity to play one event in their high school uniform. It kind of gives them a little bit of closure. It looks like we are going to have a good turnout and we hope it’s an enjoyable experience for each of the seniors who missed their senior season this spring.”
Kennett’s Jack McHaney and Jonathan Jain both shared their thoughts about the upcoming event during phone interviews with Delta Dunklin Democrat Monday.
“It’s going to be special,” McHaney said. "It’s almost like the Michael Jordan episodes of ‘The Last Dance.’ It’s our Last Dance. This is it. It’s kind of a sad time because I’ve enjoyed competing against everyone in high school. But now it’s time to move on.”
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Jain added: “I appreciate the SEMO Conference for putting it together. It should be a lot of fun and provide us with a chance to finish our high school careers on a positive note.”
Senior golfers from Cape Central, Caruthersville, Dexter, Jackson, Kennett, Malden, Notre Dame, Poplar Bluff, Saxony Lutheran, and Sikeston have been invited to the event. Vaughan said McHaney and Jain were attending the event but his other senior, Hayden Faulkner, could not attend because of work commitments.
“Not everyone is going to be able to attend but it does look we are going to have eight to 10 golfers,” Vaughan said. “We had some high-level golfers in our conference this year so there should be good competition for the top score.”
McHaney says he has maintained a weekly practice routine in recent weeks.
“I’ve gone out to the course every week and hit on the range,” McHaney said. “I think my game is as good as it can be during this time. I’d like to shoot in the 70’s next week. But if I don’t I’m going to make sure I have fun. That’s the most important thing. If you get frustrated it’s hard to make good shots. Having fun is the most important thing for me.”
Jain says he has had less time to practice in recent weeks but expects to have an equally enjoyable experience.
“I’d like to go out there and play well,” Jain said. “But it has been a weird spring and I haven’t got to play as much as I normally do. More than anything I’m just focussed on having a good time considering the circumstances.”
McHaney, who has played at Fox Haven Country Club countless times, says adjusting to the greens is one of the biggest challenges putting together a solid round at the course.
“We’ve played several conference meets at Fox Haven,” he said. “The course is really flat like Kennett’s. But they have bent greens and our greens at Kennett are Bermuda so finding a way to make some putts is going to be key.”
Golfers are slated to tee off July 9 at 9 a.m. after a coaches' meeting at 8:30 a.m. Each coach will introduce their seniors before their round begins.
“We will do introductions on the first tee for each golfer and try to dress it up kind of like an introduction at a state tournament,” Vaughan said.