Submitted / The Outlook The Central Alabama Community College golf team won its first tournament of the season in late September.

After seven long months, Central Alabama Community College Trojan Golfers finally returned to collegiate tournament play in late September at the Region Preview in Jasper. This group of Trojans earned a win to pick up where the defending National Junior College Athletics Association National Champions left off. 

Although the fall season will be restricted to Alabama destinations only, other community colleges in Alabama have been doing some recruiting and development of their respective teams.

CACC golf coach Dave Jennings and his team were happy to be on the course competing 

again amid the pandemic.

“All of the boys are handling the mandatory conference, college and (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) regulations quite well,” Jennings said. “I am very proud in the maturity they have all shown with so many guidelines in place. I honestly haven’t heard much complaining because they are all so excited to be competing again. I thank everyone for their interest, concern and support for this wonderful college golf program. We will do our best to represent our college and community well.”

A couple key players are no longer on CACC’s roster, as Dylan Moncus and Jack Goldasich transferred to play golf at Samford and University of Alabama, respectively. But Jennings still has guys on his roster he can count on this season.

“I was happy to see the growth of the returning players and the strength of our new incoming freshmen,” Jennings said. “These boys had fire in their eyes when they teed it up in Jasper.”

Freshman Hayden Carden led the Trojans with scores of 66 and 70 to finish one stroke shy of the winning play-off. Red-shirt freshman Ken Goforth played well with scores of 71 and 69 to finish in fourth. The Trojan golfers won by a margin of nine strokes over second place team Jefferson State.

“Jefferson State is going to be a factor this year,” Jennings said. “As well as Wallace State and Calhoun. They’ve got some firepower but so do we. We have a great deal of depth on this team and they are all improving every day. As our season grows, these boys should be putting up some impressive scores.”

Jennings said the team’s play on the fairway and greens made the difference in the Trojans bringing home first.

“We always — not sometimes but always — work hard at chipping and putting,” Jennings said. “The good players and the guys that win a lot have great short games so that’s what we mainly focus on. We work hard six days a week on our game, but most of our effort is in the short game.”

The next tournament will be in Decatur at Burningtree Country Club on Oct. 19-20, where Calhoun will be hosting on its home course. This will be a challenge for the Trojans because Burningtree is a difficult golf course where local knowledge helps considerably, according to Jennings, who said he’s anxious to get his team up there to face the challenge. 

Ryne Gallacher is a sports writer for The Outlook.