Golf taken off chopping block

Golf is saved in time for the Dukes fall season, thanks to two big donors.

The varsity team was disbanded back in February when the district made sweeping cuts to counterbalance a $2.4 million deficit.

The Wellington school board accepted twin donations of $1,065 each from Fehlan Insurance Agency and Gossman Insurance Agency at their meeting Monday evening — enough to save the sport for a year.

Tom Guyer will continue in his second year as head golf coach this August.

“I’m very, very pleased that some private donors stepped up to support our program,” he said. “I’m happier for my team, though. They get a chance to continue and play a sport that they truly enjoy and that’s the best part about it, I would say.”

Guyer said the community has been nothing but supportive since his son Drew died in December 2013. When he took the coaching job, he said it was a way to remember the good times he and Drew shared on the links.

“I’m humbled because of the support that the community has shown for my wife and I since Drew passed and it’s just something that keeps continuing,” he said.

He believes golf and sports in general are good for students and teach them more than just wins and losses.

“You’re able to have your student athletes learn key components to being successful young men and women,” he said.

For example, golf is the only sport where participants call penalties on themselves. Guyer said that teaches students about responsibility.

The only setback is that the private donations are only enough to bring back golf for one season. But Guyer said he’s already working on fundraising ideas to help support his program.

The next will likely be held at the 15th Annual Cheese Heritage Festival in July.

Last year, the golf team had a “dine to donate” event at Fort’s Tavern and Pizza House to generate funds for the golf team. Guyer is hopeful both businesses will be able to offer the same courtesy this year.

“It’s a great way for my team to get out and thank the community a little bit,” he said.

Guyer had 11 students compete in golf last year and is expecting around the same number this fall. The season begins Aug. 3.

Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.