A few years back, my dad and I decided that we were going to go on a father-son golf outing. A pretty normal thing, right? Not for us.
Neither one of us had ever played golf competitively — unless of course you’re talking putt-putt and then it’s game on — and that day, well, let’s just say we lost more golf balls in fields, water and brush than we put into the hole.
The names on this list are the exact opposite of that short, non-inspiring story.
This week’s 10 to Comprehend takes aim at the top ten high school golfers— boys and girls — in local history
*Remember, when compiling these lists, high school careers as well as success on the greens after high school goes into account.
•10 . Phil Adkins (Chillicothe Cavaliers, 1975-1978)
Before becoming a local realtor, Phil Adkins made a name for himself through high school golf. When he wasn’t carrying the Cavaliers to victory, he was competing for himself — where he also found success. In 1977, Adkins finished 11th in the USGA Junior Qualifier at Muirfield. Before that, he had won the Independent Insurance Youth Classic in Portsmouth and and the PGA National Junior Sectional Qualifier. In 1978, Adkins followed that up by shooting 74-80-76-78-308 to finish 18th out of 254 entrants in the age 15-17 Junior World golf tournament at Torrey Pines in San Diego.
•9 . Bill Evans (Chillicothe Cavaliers, 1949-1952)
When Bill Evans graduated high school, both of my parents had yet to be born. If that doesn’t clue you in on the legacy he left on the golf course, I’m not sure what will. Before graduating from Williams College (Massachusetts) in 1956 and Ohio State University’s School of Medicine in 1961, the doctor to went to the high school state golf tournament in 1949, 1951 and 1952. Evans passed in 2014 but not before making his mark on the local sports community.
•8. Jay Dailey (Paint Valley Bearcats, 1999-2002)
Bainbridge was blessed with a plethora of talent on the course from 1999-2002. You can’t discuss that talent pool without discussing Jay Dailey. At Paint Valley, Dailey set an 18-hole tournament record, was named all-conference three times and won a district championship. As a senior, Dailey carded a 169 in the 2001 OHSAA state championships.
•7 . Adam Breeden (Unioto Shermans, 1995-1996)
As a freshman, Breeden held a 49 9-hole average. As a senior, that number was trimmed to 40 and Breeden found himself in the state tourney. Long time Unioto golf coach Dan Drummond shared a unique story about Breeden’s day in the 1996 state tournament. Before making par (36) on the back nine, Breeden had an encounter with Mother Nature on the front. While it was raining and snowing, he still managed to card a 40. That’s talent.
•6 . Colton Forcum (Unioto Shermans, 2010-2013)
In this writer’s opinion, there has been no bigger name within the last five years in high school golf than that of Colton Forcum. Helping your team win four consecutive conference titles will do that for you. The two-time SVC Player of the Year maintained a 35.9 9-hole average throughout his career and was a state qualifier in 2010 and 2012. In those rounds, Forcum walked away shooting a 178 and 165.
•5 . Michele Schambs (Zane Trace Pioneers, 2008-2011)
Let’s start with this fact: Schambs was the first female to appear in a state golf tournament from a county school in Ross County (2010). Also, she was a four year varsity letter winner on the boys team. Before becoming a two-time NCAA national qualifier at Findlay University, Schambs set 9-hole and 18-hole records at Zane Trace with a 34 and 72. She followed that up in college by setting 36-hole and 54-hole records of 144 and 219. During her high school career, Schambs earned all-conference, district, regional and state honors.
•4 . Matt Crace (Piketon Redstreaks, 2003-2006)
Before Crace, Piketon High School had never qualified for a state tournament. The future Wright State Raider changed that in 2003 as the Redstreaks finished 12th as a team, shooting a 700. Crace himself shot a 149, right behind teammate Jared Allman (148). After finishing high school, Crace played 90 rounds at Wright State, where he finished his collegiate career with a 76.7 average.
•3 . Heather Rose (Chillicothe Cavaliers, 1999-2002)
Much like Schambs at No. 4, Rose was a four year varsity letter winner on the boys team. However, Rose took it to the next level. She was a co-captain of her team in 2002. In 2000, Rose had a career year, placing fourth in state competition and being named first team all-Ohio. After leaving her Cavalier teammates, she became well known as a Michigan State Spartan. In East Lansing, Rose played 108 rounds and left the school with the nine lowest stroke average in school history (77.55).
•2 . Kyle Litter (Paint Valley Bearcats, 1999-2002)
Let’s start with Litter’s high school career. As a Bearcat, Litter was a two-time SVC Player of the Year and qualified for the state tournament in 2000 and 20001 — shooting a 144, tying for sixth, and 159. While he did have the benefit of playing with the likes of Dailey — No. 7 on the list — Litter was no doubt in a league of his own. After graduating, Litter went on to Morehead State University, where he fared well as an Eagle. Now? The 30-year old Litter still has it. After appearing on the amateur circuit, he resides in Oregon — taking a little bit of local talent across the country.
•1. Joey Hill (Adena Warriors, 1993-1996)
Not once was Joey Hill nominated for this list but after seeing his track record, I think you’ll agree it speaks for itself. The 1995 SVC Player of the Year shot a 144 in the 1995 state tournament, good enough for runner-up after falling in a playoff. At Adena, Hill was selected to the all-SVC team three times and earned all-Ohio honors in 1995. After high school, he went to play at Ohio University where he served as the team’s captain from 1999-2000. In his four years as a Bobcat, Hill pieced together an impressive career average of just 75.6. But his story doesn’t end there. After leaving Athens, Hill turned pro and even won three professional events on the courses.
Disagree with anything here? Good! Let your voice be heard and tell us who we missed. Next week, ’10 to Comprehend’ lists the top 10 local wrestlers of all-time. Send your nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did you know?
Chillicothe High School has qualified for the OHSAA state tournament, as a team, six times. However, the last time the Cavaliers made an appearance was in 1968. Other qualifying years include 1948, 1949, 1951, 1952 and 1953.