New coach heads HV golf team

By Michelle Prater
Happy Valley's golf team has more than a new season to look forward to this year. After the resignation of former coach Chuck Babb, Rik Anderson will be taking over the young team.
"I know most of the kids," said Anderson. "They're a real good group of kids."
After teaching middle school and coaching basketball at Happy Valley, Anderson has watched many of the members grow up and is looking forward to working with them on the courses.
"I love the game myself," Anderson added. "It will be interesting to watch their games grow."
The team of six members, ranging from sophomores to seniors, is fairly young. With only four returners from last year, sophomores Ricky Morgan and Nathan Howe, and juniors Matt Howe and Justin Davis, the team will have to practice hard to excel.
According to Babb, that won't be a problem. He said the players have an excellent work ethic, a strength that will help them enormously.
"They're pretty good workers," he said. "They put in the work to get better."
The only drawback Happy Valley has experienced so far is the loss of Dustin White, a would-be returning senior that competed in the state last year, but will be unable to play this year due to family illnesses.
The first-year golfers on the team are Ryan May and B.J. Townsend, both sophomores.
The team only lost one member to graduation last year, and will be able to hold on to the golfers it has now, being as there are no seniors on the team.
"We're really young," said Babb. "We have guys that are just learning their swing."
After losing six seniors two years ago, the team is basically starting anew.
"We had a really good team [then]. We're kind of re-building right now," Babb said.
Babb predicts that the team will struggle at times, with aspects such as course management and choosing clubs, but he says that "by the end of the year, a couple players will show improvement and play some good golf."
The year's schedule, mostly between Elizabethton and Unaka, follows:
13 -- Elizabethton
14 -- Warriors Path
18 -- Buffalo Valley
19 -- Elizabethton
28 -- Warriors Path
2 -- Silver Lake
8 -- Roan Valley
10 -- Elizabethton
11 -- Roan Valley
15 -- Roan Valley
16 -- Elizabethton
17 -- Elizabethton
23 -- Buffalo Valley
29 -- Buffalo Valley
30 -- Buffalo Valley: District Tournament
Oct. 6 -- Pine Oaks: Region Tournament