The Northeast Alabama Community College men’s and women’s golf teams will enter Year 2 with new-look rosters.
NACC held a ceremony at the campus in Powell on Monday to announce the new additions — five men and two women — to the teams.
Joining the NACC men’s program are John Austin Dolberry and David Stewart of Scottsboro, Aaron Shavers of Pisgah, Brody Rickles of Boaz and Jake Jenkins of Douglas. They will team with returning NACC golfers Corey Wheeler of Pisgah and Ethan Everett of Trenton, Georgia.
The NACC women’s team added Cassidy Cunningham of Scottsboro and Presley Higdon of Pisgah to team with returning golfers Kelsey Draper of Pisgah and Bailey Raulston of South Pittsburg, Tennessee.
The signing class is the fruit of a full year of recruiting for Kirk, who had just over two months to sign NACC’s initial recruiting class last summer.
“All of them are competitive. They’re all good kids, good students,” Kirk said. “I’m excited for all of them to get the opportunity to continue playing a sport they love and get an education at the same time.”
NACC debuted golf during its last academic year, playing matches and tournaments during the fall and spring seasons. NACC competes in the Alabama Community College Conference, which competes on the national scale in the National Junior College Athletic Association. NACC’s home course is Dogwood Hills Golf Resort and Gardens in Flat Rock. Dogwood Hills was donated to the Northeast Alabama Community College Foundation several years ago by owners Doris and the late Bryce Slater.
“Year 1 helped us put down some roots, get some publicity and let folks know that Northeast is back in business in athletics with golf,” said NACC Director of Office of Extended Day/Distance Learning and athletic director Chad Gorham. “We’ve had good feedback. People are excited to see us having [athletics] back.”
NACC’s men’s team plays a pair of matches against Georgia Northwestern Aug. 17 and Aug. 24 — the latter scheduled match is at Dogwood Hills — before opening tournament play this fall at the Wallace State Men’s Fall Invitational Sept. 9-11. The NACC women make their fall season debut Sept. 16-18 at the Wallace State Women’s Fall Invitational. Both tournaments will be played at Cross Creek Country Club in Cullman.
Both NACC teams can carry eight scholarship golfers, and more golfers could be still be added on scholarship. There is one scholarship remaining for the men’s program and four for the women’s program.
“I think the men and women are going to be a lot better,” Kirk said. “We just have to work hard and compete.”