By Steve Hubrecht

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The David Thompson Secondary School (DTSS) golf team is swinging for success. Just a few years ago, team organizers struggled to get enough interested students to make a foursome. Now the team has 30+ student golfers, both male and female, and is setting its sights on eventually hosting its own tournament.

What’s behind the explosive growth? According to Copper Point golf manager Brian Schaal, it’s all down to creating a bit of buzz about hitting the links.

Copper Point has been helping out with the team for the past few years, and Schaal said the surge in participation stems from word of mouth. 

“There was some interest among some of the students one year, a bit of excitement. Those students then came back the next year, and they’d told their friends, and it’s just gone from there,” he said.

The team is out practising at Copper Point every Wednesday and Friday, at the driving range, and working on their short game on the chipping and putting green. Each session the students show clear improvement.

“It’s been really good progress,” said Schaal. “We keep it simple, and keep it fun. It’s great. You really get to know the kids and I really enjoy watching them getting better. They are into it, and it shows.”

Schaal added he particularly loves seeing students get their first really good stroke on the driving range.

“They get the ball up in the air, and see its trajectory, see how far it’s going, and then you see them realize that they did that. It’s an eye-opener,” he said.

The students are allowed to play The Ridge course at Copper Point for free throughout the year, and Schaal is glad that many DTSS team members do just that, right after practice.

Aside from Schaal, DTSS athletic director Matt LeBourdais, Copper Point head golf professional Scott McClain, Copper Point director of instruction Dennis Bradley, and Copper Point teaching professional Dale Moore all help coach the team.

The team includes students of all ages, from Grade 8 right through Grade 12, although the bulk of them are in Grades 9,10 and 11.

The DTSS golfers play home-and-away matches with both the Selkirk Secondary School (SSS) team from Kimberley and the Golden Secondary School (GSS) through the season.

“To go from four students (on the team) to where we are now, it’s great. And we want to build on that. There is talk about hosting a high school golf tournament, with teams from Cranbrook, Kimberley and Golden. That’s the next step,” said Schaal.

Players of all levels are welcome to join the team, from rank beginners to the very experienced.

“You never know where some of the kids will take this,” said Schaal, adding one of last year’s graduates, who was on the DTSS golf team, got a golf scholarship to Monmouth University in New Jersey.

Shown here are Carson Scheffer (DTSS), Myles Altman (DTSS), Keiran Stephan from the Selkirk golf team, and Brayden Roe (DTSS).
(Photo submitted)