For the first time in several years De Queen is expected to compete in golf with full teams for both boys and girls.
In class 4A, three players are required for a team. Coach Stephen Sloan has had three boys and four girls working since practice began July 13.
On the boys side are: Tucker Brown, McGuyre Moore and Max Pinkerton. The girls include: Lauren Graham, Abigail Barker, Elaina Rivas and Pressli Young.
“Tucker and Lauren made state as individuals last year, Sloan noted. “This year we will be able to field a team each match.”
It will be the first year of competition for four of the seven. Pinkerton, Rivas and Young are freshman. Barker is a junior out for the first time.
“Some have played on their own this summer. Hopefully we will be able to practice more,” the coach said.
“Every one of them has improved every day. The more you hit, the better you get. We are making little tweaks to improve the swings. We’ve still got a long way to go.”
The corona virus panic has threatened the upcoming year of high school sports. Sloan pointed out that golf can be played while following social distancing guidelines. “We distance ourselves. We carry our own equipment. We don’t have to share,” he said.
The Leopards have 12 matches scheduled, the first at Little River Club on Aug. 4. The 7AAAA conference tournament will be held at either Malvern or Lake DeGray.
There is plenty of time for improvement between the first match and the league meeting. “Every day is a new day. You have to do a lot of work to master the game. You’re always going to have good days and bad days,” Sloan said.
“I’m glad to have the ones I have. Hopefully we will get more kids interested in golf and develop a love for it and have fun playing. That’s what golf’s all about.”