Q: Have you been able to reflect back on what you were able to accomplish during a season in which you won all but one match?
A: It was a great year that I worked hard for. I worked all summer and the year before that to try to strive and have a great senior year.
Q: What was the key to your stellar senior season?
A: I played in a bunch of tournaments over the summer [in the American Junior Golf Association and Virginia State Golf Association]. I got a job down at Falling River [Country Club], so I played like mostly every day down there, so that helped a bunch.
Q: During your summer working at Falling River, did you get any tips from the locals there?
A: I got some help from Faber [Jamerson] and Colton King.
Q: What were the biggest things you learned from them?
A: Faber helped me a bunch with my putting, which is really what was holding me back. That got me a huge jump in my scoring average.
Q: What specifically did Jamerson do to help change your putting?
A: He helped me a bunch with my alignment because I would align off, which would already start the putt off line. That helped me a bunch.
Q: You and Jefferson Forest senior Garnet Manley III were the class of the area golfers and frequently competed for medalist honors. How much did the two of you push each other to get better on a weekly basis?
A: Garnet’s a great player to play against because he always pushes me to do better. It’s always a fun time playing with him. I remember one match this year at Ivy Hill, I shot 31 and he shot 32. We were just lighting it up back and forth at each other. It was fun.
Q: When did you realize this was going to be a special season for you?
A: When you come out on top in the Heritage Invitational, that’s a big tournament with a bunch of schools in it, and I figured after that it was going to be a good year and I could do something special.
Q: How nerve-wracking was winning the Class 3 state championship in a three-hole playoff? Or did you feel calm under the pressure?
A: Riding back to the 18th tee, I felt the nerves, but once I got up there and I split one down the middle of the fairway, it kind of like calmed down and I started playing golf normally.
Q: Now that time has passed, what did that mean for you to win the state championship?
A: It was kind of like an unreal feeling. Pretty sensational.
Q: What has been the biggest step for you in your development from when you began playing golf to now?
A: I’d say growing. I remember like my freshman year I was like 5 foot, probably, and I couldn’t hit the ball very far, but I always had a good short game. Being able to hit it farther [at current height of 5-foot-9] has helped along the way.
Q: You’re heading to Longwood to play for a program that is competing to win Big South Conference titles on a yearly basis. What went into that decision?
A: Coach [Kevin] Fillman treated me nice, and I have a high respect for him and what he’s been able to do with his program. It was a good fit.
Q: Is it nice that Longwood is close to home?
A: Yes it is. I’m about an hour away.
Q: What’s something you like to do on the course — whether it be on the tee box, fairway or green — that keeps you loose during a match?
A: I can’t say I really have a superstition or routine I do.
Q: Is there someone you enjoy playing with in a group?
A: I played with Cade [Bigham] and Charlie Riddle a lot. They would always push me and have fun. I always love playing with my dad [Andy], but that’s just a beatdown every time.
Q: Who is your favorite teacher at Rustburg?
A: Mr. [Michael] Nagy, AP government.
Q: What’s the most recent book you’ve read?
A: “Jane Eyre” in English (class).
Q: What’s the most recent movie you’ve seen?
A: “Jumani” 2. It was pretty good.
Q: What’s your favorite pre- or post-match meal?
A: Bojangles sausage biscuit combo with fries and a sweet tea before the match.
Q: Who is the funniest person on the team?
A: Charlie Riddle. He’s goofy and clumsy.
Q: The team as a whole performed well throughout the season. How much did those guys improve?
A: It was amazing. Charlie and Cade and Nick Cross were able to put up scores every time. We had Wyatt [Bigham] and Noah [Gardner] that could put up great scores, too. It was a great season for all of us.
Q: What do you feel your lasting legacy will be on Rustburg golf?
A: I think it just shows that hard work can get you where you want to be. Hopefully it persuades more people to come out and play golf, because me, Cade and Charlie were seniors this year, and we were the top three. Hopefully more people will come out and play.
Reach Damien Sordelett at (434) 385-5550.