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Meeting to determine SVHS golf team later this month

Supporters in Spring Valley would like to see Spring Valley high schoolers tee off like this gentleman, in prep meets at Spring Valley Golf Course. Photo by Norm Johnson

SPRING VALLEY - There are many school districts in the state of Wisconsin that don't have prep golf teams.

But Guy Leach says he not aware of any school district in the state in a community with its own golf course that doesn't have a team.

Yet that's the situation Spring Valley finds itself with. Spring Valley High School has no varsity boys' or girls golf teams, just a club boys' squad that plays at 18-hole Spring Valley Golf Course.

But Leach and several others are hoping to change that. They hope to do so at meeting of the Spring Valley School Board on April 26 and hope others will stop in at the meeting and show their support for creating varsity squads for the 2010-11 school year.

Leach and his wife Wendy have owned SVGC for the past 12 years. Over this period in time they've sponsored many youth golf clinics and tournament events, even junior golf league for this in the Spring Valley community and eastern Pierce County who wish to participate.

"We've been getting between 80 to 90 kids for these events so there's been good youth interest in golf," Leach said. "But once it gets past middle school, the interest in the game falls off because there are no high school teams. There's nothing at that level one can earn a varsity letter or compete in conference, regional, sectional or state tournaments. So very few go on playing because of this."

The Leach's passion for golf, both from a playing and instructional point of view, drives them to promote a varsity team for Spring Valley. Other community members who feel the same way are Sue Rudesill, Shelly Shafer, Gordy Behling, who currently coaches the club team and course instructor Mitch Kannel, an SVHS grad who is a certified golf instructor having graduated from the Golf Academy of San Diego.

Spring Valley had a team in the 1980s but dropped the sport reportedly due to problems with the course at that time. Given the hard economic times, it may seem a little fanciful from a cost perspective adding another one or two sports. But Leach said the course is willing to take up much of the costs.

"We're providing the course free of charge, the coaching and instruction free of charge," Leach said. "We're not asking them to take on any more of a burden other than transportation."

The timing for making golf a varsity sport actually may be right now. The four Dunn-St. Croix schools that play boys' golf: Glenwood City, Colfax, St. Croix Central and Mondovi will be leaving the Middle Border Conference next year. A fifth team would make boys' golf an official league sport again. Plus, it's getting harder for the Spring Valley club team to participate in local prep matches.

"The are varsity teams have been kind enough to have openings for Spring Valley to play in but that's not going to true much longer." Leach said.

This summer SVGC will be hosting a junior golf clinic June 8 from 9-11 a.m. for kids in grad K-12. They will also be hosting a seven week junior golf league every Tuesday starting June 15 for kids nine-years old and up which will also be from 9-11 a.m.