The Wylie Boys’ Golf Team qualified for the regional tournament this season, which was its very first year to play in Class 5A.
That’s a pretty big accomplishment for a group that many thought would struggle in the higher classification. But the boys never doubted they could do it.
“Getting out of district in 5A is an accomplishment of its own,” said senior Duncan Bacon. “We definitely knew we had a chance.”
The team did not advance to state, but the Wylie seniors were pretty happy with consecutive trips to regionals to end their high school careers. Especially when they consider how far the program has come since they joined the varsity team as freshmen.
Duncan and fellow senior Ethan Stewart-Duke did not play competitive golf prior to joining the team as freshmen.
“I was just hoping to not get cut,” Ethan said. “I ended up being first on varsity right off the bat. I’ve enjoyed it because we started from nothing. Freshman year, just placing in district seemed like a far-fetched idea.”
When fellow senior Phillip Hurtado moved into the district as a sophomore, he found a very young team.
“There wasn’t very much experience,” he said. “Everyone was starting out. It was more of playing to have fun.”
But the three of them knew they could do something special if they got serious.
“We talked about it our sophomore year,” Duncan said. “We thought we would be pretty solid when we got to be seniors. Now here we are about to play in the 5A regional tournament. The experience has really paid off.”
The team earned a spot at regionals as juniors in their final year of Class 4A before finishing second in district in Class 5A this year to earn a second trip to regionals.
Ethan said the team’s work ethic is one reason it has succeeded.
“We don’t take many days off,” he said. “We expect to win.”
He said the group is also very close.
“We are like brothers,” he said. “It’s really cool. We have a lot of fun.”
Now that the season is over, Duncan and Ethan will move on to other things, but Phillip has signed to play college golf for Texas-Permian Basin.
“I wanted to continue my golf career as far as I can go,” he said. “Being able to go to college is amazing.”
Duncan and Ethan said their high school experience is something they will never forget.
“It’s a life-long sport,” said Ethan who plans to go into business. “I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve learned a lot of lessons from it. I will always be thankful.”
Duncan, who plans to go into coaching, agreed.
“It’s been fun,” he said. “It’s been a fun ride. I’ve learned a lot of life lessons. Golf is a big sport of life lessons. I’m glad I chose to play.”