Southern Union Golf Seeks Community Support in Inaugural Season

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Pictured is Peyton Bradley, future Bison and 2021 AHSAA Class 4A State Champion from White Plains High School.

BY WIL CREWS
SPORTSCREWS@OPELIKAOBSERVER.COM

The Southern Union Bison mens’ and womens’ golf teams are looking for community support as they prepare for their inaugural season in 2021-22.  

“Just starting from absolutely ground zero, I need to get the word out in the local community to help us raise awareness, get some fundraising efforts started and grow our status within the community,” said Southern Union head golf coach Jamie McQuaker.

The program will officially join the ranks of collegiate golf this fall, and the addition marks the first on-campus sports team at the Opelika campus of Southern Union. 

Starting a program from the ground up can appear a daunting challenge for any coach – on any level. However, McQuaker is confident in the quality his squads possess.

“I think we will be competitive on both teams very quickly,” he said.

Pictured is Shelby Oldham, future Lady Bison who was recently named to the GHSA All-State and All-Tournament teams.

Both squads are filled with eight scholarship athletes; most are from surrounding area, some are from around the world. 

“I’ve got some great players from all over the world,” McQuaker said. “One from Scotland; One from Wales. One of them has got a world amateur ranking. So, I got some good players coming, and I just really need to get some kind of traction prior to us starting our tournaments in the fall.”

Despite having a very eclectic team in year one, McQuaker said he is going to strongly emphasize recruiting from a local and state level.

“We’ve got roster spots open,” he said. “It means a lot to me that we have a lot of players from the state of Alabama, even though we are going to go outside to get some others. But I really want to keep the nucleus of the team from Alabama. We have two players in Kenny Okins and Peyton Bradley who won the state championship at White Plains High School in Alabama. Tyler Poole played for Phenix City in Alabama.”

Furthermore, McQuaker said the Bison are still in the opening stages of filling out the schedule, but are slated to begin competition with their first tournament on Sept. 9. McQuaker is already looking toward the future, imagining the benefits that a strong program can provide the school, and the community.

“My main focus is getting the word out in the community,” McQuaker said. “I think there is a lot of potential for local high school guys and girls to get scholarships and play at the next level, but we have to get the word out there to let everybody know that we are here.”

PHOTOS USED WITH PERMISSION

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