Going into spring break, Adairsville won its first several matches and closes out the regular season with matches against Gordon Central, April 10; Armuchee, April 12; and Sonoraville, April 17.
On a team led by freshmen Courtney Cochran and Tamera Johnson, as well as teammates Makayla Martin, Harleigh Chambers and Katie Smith, it was hard to anticipate how the season would go for the Lady Tigers.
“I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I hadn’t really seen the competition, and I’m just learning. I’m learning right along with them,” Fassnacht said. “Every match, I’m learning more about my team and how to help them along, but really I’m having just as much fun as they are.
“I’m loving it,” he continued. “[We] got a great group of schools that we play, wonderful folks, really good sportsmanship — [a] really good feeling of friendliness and competition when we go out and play.”
Adairsville’s golfers have made the season easy enough to enjoy for their rookie coach. Cochran and Johnson, the team’s No. 1 and No. 2 golfers, rarely put their clubs down.
“Our No. 1 and 2 golfers are avid golfers. They play [during the] offseason. They play year-round. They’re real students of their own game,” Fassnacht said. “Primarily, our No. 1 golfer, Courtney Cochran, has shot under 45 every outing, which is pretty good for high school. I think her best round was a 41 in competition. They’re both freshmen and they have a really good high school career to look forward to.”
Though equally responsible for Adairsville’s hot start — a team’s top two golfers comprise the team score — the freshmen go about the game in contrasting ways.
“They have two different approaches. Courtney’s very methodical and really plays the course in a very smart way,” Fassnacht explained. “Tamera loves to bomb it. She’s a long ball hitter. She has a beautiful swing and really has a great tee-to-green game. … [She] looks really promising as her game develops.”
The young golfers, and the team in general, share one key attribute.
“I think they’re kind of fearless in a way. They realize they’re playing, in most cases, juniors and seniors so maybe they feel like they have nothing to lose, but they don’t act like they have nothing to lose. They’re very competitive,” Fassnacht said.
The Lady Tigers coach is wary of making too much of his team’s play, even if it has been the kind of start not often seen from the team.
“They just gotta take it one shot at a time. They’re playing on difficult courses frequently,” Fassnacht said. “You don’t want to jinx yourselves. I’m really proud of the way they’ve responded to the season and the different teams they’ve been going out and meeting.”
Adairsville will have an opportunity to end its season on an even higher plane than the one it is currently on. The Lady Tigers compete in the Region 7-AA tournament April 23-24. A finish in the top two would qualify them for the Class AA state tournament May 7 at the Goshen Plantation Golf Club in Augusta — state berths that went to Calhoun and Rockmart last year.
Should Adairsville miss out on those two state qualifying spots, its lowest scoring individual would still have a shot at advancing to state as the Georgia High School Association reserves a spot for the lowest scoring golfer whose team fails to make it out of the region tournament.
Fassnacht expects his team will maintain its current state of play by doing what it has already done so well this season.
“I think they’re all very much students of the game. They’re working on their own and [on] their own issues of their game, and really I’m looking for them to continue doing that — playing their game and playing the course,” he added.