Warrior Golf Captures Fourth Place at Conference 29 Tourney


By Jerry Reid

Dixon Hass (L)  and Andrew Yancey, a Top Six Individual performer at the Conference 29 playoffs.
Dixon Hass (L) and Andrew Yancey, a Top Six Individual performer at the Conference 29 playoffs.

Missing third place by one stroke, the Western Albemarle golf squad capped a successful season at the Heritage Oaks Golf Club in Harrisonburg last Sunday. The Conference 29 Championship fell to Fort Defiance, with Spotswood taking the runner-up spot. Turner Ashby was third overall, trailed by Western, and Broadway rounded out the top five in an eight-school field. The format for Conference 29 this year was three rounds of 18 holes at Lake Monticello September 8, Shenvalee in New Market September 17, and Heritage Oaks on the 24th.

Warriors golfers Dixon Hass and Andrew Yancey made the Top 6 Individuals list with their best two rounds, and received invitations to the VHSL Regionals Oct 12-13 at Lakeview Golf Course  in Harrisonburg. Participating for Coach Darren Maynard’s team along with Yancey and Hass were: Sarah Gemeny, Cole Weis, Nathan Vance, Trent Phillips and Marion Alcaro.

A nearly legendary Coach, Maynard has decades of experience coaching both basketball and golf while teaching health and P.E. and weight training at Western.

“I didn’t play golf in high school. In my late 20s, I really picked up golf seriously, started playing four, five or six days a week and I fell in love with it, tried to learn as much about it as I could and thought I would share that knowledge when the coaching job opened up at Western.” He has done that sharing very well and hasn’t skimped on the life lessons, according to some of his players.

Dixon Hass, junior, said, “I played basketball, played hockey, a lot of different sports. Golfing is my only sport I continue with outside of school.”

Admittedly, he started playing a little late. He knocked the ball around with friends and then discovered the rewarding parts of a nailed drive or a long, breaking dropped putt. “I like the game because of the feelings you get from it. It’s a feel sport.” He knows that a bad shot can rightfully cause a bit of anger, but that must fade away quickly in order to play this game right.

Hass has nothing but superlatives for Coach Maynard’s techniques and humanity. “I like his idea of really being mentally tough. You can have a good swing and do everything mechanically right, but if you don’t know what you want to do in your mind, you’re not going to score well,” he reflected.

Maynard also reached him through the philosophy of the here and now, teaching the value of living in the minute. “He helps to put things in perspective. He says to make your high school years count, and cherish the moments you’re in right now because they won’t last,” said Hass.

Now the University of Tennessee is tugging at his consciousness.

Andrew Yancey is a sophomore and just 15. His golf game is on a trajectory that could take him places. Regionals beckon now. Golf was a bit down on his list because his father played baseball, but he said, “I started playing baseball, then I gave it up for golf and he has supported me with that. I started playing at 13 and I’ve have worked hard at it,”

“Next year I’d like to be shooting all my rounds in the mid-70s, maybe upper 70s,” Yancey said. “I want my team to advance to Regionals next year, and I’d love to play Division One golf.” College with a golf component could be attainable. But if golf as a playing career doesn’t work out, a family construction business awaits, along with studying to be a golf pro by taking an internship with Kandi Comer (WAHS graduate and ex-LPGA) at Old Trail.

Yancey and Hass are stellar representatives for the Warriors at the VHSL individual Regionals October 12-13. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer pair.


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