Midway golf coach Glenn Patrick and the team's veteran leaders discuss the latest state-title run.
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JACKSON SPRINGS — Holding this year’s North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2A Men’s Golf State Runner-up coach’s plaque, Glenn Patrick addressed his Midway team for the last time Tuesday.
The emotional, heartfelt remarks concluded with a handshake and hug to each of the Raiders players that helped secure yet another trophy from the state tournament after finishing second overall following two days at Foxfire Resort and Golf Club.
“They don’t give you these things (trophies), you got to go out and earn them,” Patrick said after collecting his third runner-up title the past four seasons, and second consecutive.
“My mindset with these guys when we come out here is, ‘We’re gonna work hard every day – we’re gonna fight, we’re gonna scramble and do what we’re supposed to.’”
Patrick, who told his group this season would be his final following a six-year stint, departs with an unrivaled resume. Including the three second-place team finishes, he’s coached one 2A title-winning squad and two individual state champions.
His latest medalist, Logan Atkins, followed an opening-round 76 with a 72 on Tuesday to top this year’s field with a 148 total.
Though the Raiders junior wanted to send Patrick out with one more team title, he was encouraged by how his counterparts handled themselves on the big stage.
“Well, we got a good coach, definitely. And I feel like we work together,” Atkins said.
Making things harder was Kaison Marley’s unexpected injury just days before the tournament. Marley had been a key member of the regional-championship effort on May 2, but was forced to watch the tourney with a sling on his left arm as Jack Hazelbeck subbed in.
Still, Midway stood tied atop the leaderboard following Monday’s opening round with Atkins and Raiders captain Caden Hodges both finishing 4-over par.
“You don’t have time to sit and mope around ... With Caden as a senior and a leader that he was, he came out and said, ‘We got this, coach,’” Patrick said.
Hodges didn’t finish too far behind Atkins in the final individual standings, placing third overall by carding a 75 in the final round for a total of 151.
Hazelbeck, a first-time high school golfer, finished just outside the top 50 with a 179 total and John Michael Best concluded his prep career with daily scores of 90 and 97.
“We had to work with what we had. There was nothing we could do about it ... everything happens for a reason,” Hodges said.
“We did what we could do and that’s all we could ask for.”
Hodges’ third-place finish was the highest of his career in three states appearances. The recent Fayetteville State University commit also picked up a second 2A Men’s Golf Championship Sportsmanship Award.
“I just tried my best ... just blessed with what I had, for sure. Pretty good career and I’ll take it any day of the week,” he said.
Midway’s team total of 665 fell just short of eventual 2A champ East Surry. The two groups tied with a score of 328 on Monday, but the Cardinals dropped their total by two strokes in the final round and won first place with a 654.
Though he didn’t get the ideal send-off envisioned before this “last ride” started, Patrick is happy bringing two more pieces of hardware back to the small school on Spivey’s Corner Highway.
“We had a chance to win it. Those guys (East Surry) just played better than we did today,” Patrick said.
“We’re still runner-up. We’re the second-best (team in the state). Are we disappointed? No, we had a good season.”
Donnell Coley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 910-230-2040.