Former York Comprehensive High School golf standout Dillon Barrett is “all-in” coaching the York girls’ golf team this season.
“I heard there was an opening for girls’ gold coach at YCHS,” Barrett said before the Sept. 4 three-team match at Spring Lake Country Club, which was later canceled due to inclement weather.
“I was excited when (Athletic Director Steve) Boyd offered me the job,” he said.
Barrett said he grew up around golf and has a passion for the sport. “My family played and I played,” he said. “I still play.”
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Barrett’s sister, Taylor Barrett, was an all-state golfer at YCHS and later made her presence felt with the Lady Gamecocks of the University of South Carolina.
Dillon Barrett said he has been pleased with the girls’ performance in the early stages of the season.
“Our players competed well in preseason practice rounds,” he said. “We have a good group.”
Barrett said Sarah Smith, a ninth-grade golfer who could be the next Taylor Barrett, competed with the York County All-Stars this summer.
Smith, who advanced to upper state competition as a seventh-grade member of the Lady Cougars golf team, is mature beyond her years.
Smith, a freshman, said she enjoyed competing with the York County All-Stars. “We played at golf courses throughout the county,” she said.
Like her coach, Smith too has a passion for golf, a passion that surfaced as a middle school basketball starter the last two years.
“I like playing basketball, but golf is my game,” Smith said.
Smith said she’s satisfied with her golf game for the most part. “There’s always work to do to improve my game, especially chipping and putting,” she said.
Smith said she understands the mental toughness golf requires. “There are good days and bad days,” she said. “You have to stay with it. I think our golf team will do well this year.”
Barrett praised the lone senior golfer, Taylor Ramsey. “Taylor’s balancing a heavy class load, working part time and playing golf,” he said. “She’s doing an outstanding job.”
Other players in addition to Ramsey and Smith are juniors Katie Day and Tori Thompson, freshman Amiyah Starnes and seventh-grader Liza Tolson.
Barrett said he reminds the players that success on the course has a lot to do with their mental approach to the game.
“If they don’t play well on the first hole, they’ve still got eight holes to go,” he said.
The Cougars host Fort Mill and Nation Ford at 4 p.m. Sept. 11 at Spring Lake, then travel to River Hills Country Club at 4 p.m. Sept. 16 to play Clover.