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Slack, freshmen to pace Bearden golf effort 2007

Fourth-year Bearden High School golf head coach John Heins said he’s “optimistic about this year, a little bit more than I have been in the past” about the BHS programs for 2007.

Key contributions from all four classes could be in store for the boys, while the Lady Bulldogs feature a talented freshman.


“For the guys this year our goal is to go to the region,” Heins said. “And for Jeff Slack to go to state somehow.”

Slack, a senior, “is kind of our non-elected team captain,” Heins said about arguably his top player. “He’s played in a lot of tournament golf, junior golf, this summer, and his game is coming along. Jeff’s got a lot of potential, like a lot of players on the team. He’s worked hard to try and realize that potential, he wants to play college golf.”

Heins said Slack has been the team’s lowest qualifier the last three seasons during tryouts.

Junior Owen Shirk “has a lot of potential, also,” Heins said of his No. 2 player. “Hopefully Owen will get serious, he could be a really good player.”

Despite his youth, freshman Jeff Maier has been playing No. 1 for the Bulldogs. “Jeff’s a very good player, and will be good for three years to come. We’re excited about having him on the team.”

Senior Steven Reitz “hits the ball a mile,” Heins said. “He plays golf for fun and enjoys it. He’s got, also, a lot of potential. I see him playing a major role on our golf team this year.”

Senior Eric Schwartz “is a good little athlete,” Heins said. “He’s really played a lot of golf this summer, and he’s a pleasant surprise on our team. If our team can be competitive in the district and region, it’ll be because of people like Eric and Owen stepping up and playing well.”

Sophomore Mathew McElroy “has been taking a few lessons,” trying to improve, according to Heins. Sophomore Bradley Bartram “actually is playing pretty decent for us,” Heins said. “He may play for us this year, a couple of matches.”

Senior Bobby Faulkner “has worked hard on improving his game the last four years,” Heins said. “I’m real proud of Bobby.”

Senior Patrick Durrant “has a shot at playing [No.] four or five for us this year,” Heins said.

As a young player, Heins said Marshall Wilkins “is still learning the game. He’s a growing kid and could play for us down the road.

“All of our guys have a chance to play this year, it’s up to them.”


“The girls are excited about this year,” Heins said. “Of course their main goal, they’ve talked about beating Farragut. That’s what we want to do, we want to beat Farragut and we want to go to region for a shot at going to state.”

Freshman Allie Knight “is playing fantastic, she is a great surprise for the girls team,” Heins said. “She is going to be a winner, going to do well. ... I look for great things, if not this year then down the road from Allie.”

Arielle Notte “is probably the most improved golfer” on either Bearden team, Heins said.

Jasmine Franklin will also be a key piece to the Lady Bulldog match puzzle.

Assistant coaches for both teams are Sam Baloff and John’s mother, Margaret Heins Laning.


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