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FORD TO LEAD GOLFERS-sponsored by Economy Pharmacy

As the 2024 high school golf season nears, the Hilldale Hornets look to take some momentum from last year to take the next step forward and a big part of that success will be on the shoulders of junior Ayden Ford. While the Hornet team won the Verdigris Valley Conference championship last year, Ayden individually finished fourth and qualified for the state tournament which he called “a lot of fun but pretty stressful.”

The Hornets will have five juniors and three sophomores on the varsity with Ayden filling one of the leadership roles on the team according to new golf coach Adam Neff. “We don’t have any seniors so Ayden will be one of our leaders and I think he’ll do great in that role,” said Neff.

Ayden, who also wrestles for the Hornets, played some golf in the eighth grade but didn’t take it seriously until he got to high school and started for the varsity his freshman year.

“My best friend Carson Parker played golf and really got me seriously interested in it,” said Ayden who is also a member of the National Honor Society. “My freshman year was tough, but things got easier as the season went along. I know as a leader this year I’ll be expected to help out the younger guys with their game which I’m glad to do while trying to bolster everyone’s confidence by dwelling on the positive aspects of their round.”

Having had a taste of what it’s like to make state, Ayden worked hard on his game during the summer.

“I played in a tournament and played lots of practice rounds to improve my game. I think my drives and long irons have been the areas I’ve improved the most in over the past year or so.”

Other members of the golf team are juniors Cash Schiller, Ty Wilson, Chase Crowder and Kayden McLemore along with sophomores Trey Eldridge, Easton Asbill, and Ryder Graham. The Hornets will take part in a pre-season tournament in early March and then the season starts in earnest March 26 concluding with the state tournament at Shangri-La in May.

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