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Episode 224 - When Hard Work Pays Off with Ryan Allen
Episode 22412th January 2023 • The Jackson Hole Connection • Stephan C. Abrams
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Ryan Allen is a dad, husband, dedicated educator and coach. Ryan shares his journey to Jackson Hole and the experiences that have kept him in this beautiful mountain town. As a special education teacher and high school golf coach, Ryan offers a look into the hard work and dedication that goes into working with students and fostering their growth both inside and outside of the classroom. Ryan and Stephan discuss the hard work that goes into creating a championship golf team and how one of the key elements is the supportive and competitive nature of Jackson Hole.

This week's episode is supported in part by Teton County Solid Waste and Recycling announcing this year’s Christmas tree drop-off. Live Christmas trees can be dropped-off at the Teton County Fairgrounds, for residents only, or at the Trash Transfer Station at no cost until January 31 st . All trees must be delivered undecorated and absolutely no tinsel please, as they will be composted. Thank you for keeping these materials out of the landfill. For more information visit tetoncountywy.gov/recycle.

Support also comes from The Jackson Hole Marketplace. The Deli at Jackson Hole Marketplace offers ready-made soups, sandwiches, breakfast burritos, and hot lunch specials. More at JHMarketplace.com

Want to be a guest on The Jackson Hole Connection? Email us at connect@thejacksonholeconnection.com. Marketing and editing support by Michael Moeri (michaelmoeri.com)

Transcripts

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You are tuned into the Jackson hole, connection, sharing, fascinating stories

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of people connected to Jackson Hole.

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I am truly grateful for each of you for tuning in today and support

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for this podcast comes from:

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Before I begin today's episode, I'm gonna throw a quote Your way.

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Time is forgiving.

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Each day we begin with the same amount of time to be joyful,

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loving, thoughtful, and courageous.

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How will you use your time today?

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And remember, it resets again tomorrow.

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So how will you use your time tomorrow?

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We'll just leave the quote there as anonymous and you are

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listening to episode number 224, and my guest today is Ryan Allen.

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Ryan is going to tell you in just a moment who he is and what he does.

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I've been reflecting on my conversation with Ryan and from my

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reflection, what has stood out is we don't know what the future holds.

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Pretty obvious, right?

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but the actions we take each.

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To contribute to ourselves and our communities and our families will

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determine what the future holds.

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The effort Ryan has made in himself, his family, and his

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career, demonstrate this thought.

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Ryan doesn't know what the future holds for himself or his students or his family.

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What Ryan does know is the effort he puts in will influence the results.

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I'm inspired by Ryan.

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I so enjoyed having the time to speak with Ryan.

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And I'm inspired by Ryan to be more intentional each day in my work.

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My work as a father, as a husband, and as a business owner.

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Ryan, thank you for joining me today for the Jackson Hole Connection.

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It's great to have some time and this opportunity to speak with you.

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Yeah, appreciate you having me on.

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look forward to chatting with you.

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You're, you're welcome.

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Now you're wearing a hat and it's a new hat and it's got a little emblem there.

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And you were saying it's a golf course from where you grew up

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and you didn't grow up here.

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Where, um, where about were you born and raised?

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born and raised in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

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yeah.

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Grew up, Spartanburg's a pretty, pretty big town.

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You know, it's like northwest corner of, of South Carolina near

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Asheville, near Charlotte, near Greenville, not too far from Clemson.

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you know, grew up all the way, you know, went, I was in Spartanburg from

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when I was born through 22 years old.

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When I moved to Jackson, I went to college in Spartanburg, a small

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school called Waffer College.

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I was a, a biology major there, which I'm not using that degree at all anymore.

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that's sometimes how it works out.

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But, got done with school and kind moved to Jackson.

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Kind of followed my older sister out here and you know, the rest is history.

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I've been here.

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I'm 41 now, so I'll be 42 in a few months, so almost 20 years.

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That's great.

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Now, I'm not familiar with Spartansburg.

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I've heard of it, but what is the history of Spartansburg and how did, like how

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did your family land there and Yeah.

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Yeah.

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You didn't go very far from home at all.

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I did for quite a while.

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, no, I was born there.

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My, my father's family got there.

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My grandfather was, in the Navy and he's, he was a World War II

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veteran and he was like an underwater demolition, guy in the war.

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And he pretty much the precursor to Navy Seal.

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And when he got out of the service, he went and worked for a different,

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companies and he works for a box company, and they would make, and he, they had

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a, they were opening a plant or had a plant in Spartanburg and they recruited

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him to come and run the plant for him.

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And he did that.

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He moved and, cause my dad was born in Savannah, Georgia.

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and he, my dad has four sisters.

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They were all born in different spots, but they, we landed in Spartanburg.

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and then, so my parents grew up there also.

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You know, my mom was born and raised in Spartanburg.

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my mom's father was one of the precursors in, first People involved

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in, like stock, like racing.

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Like he used to run moon.

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Nice.

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Up and down.

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Yeah, up and down the, the state lines.

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And then from there, you know, he got into, he used to race too.

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Precursors, like he used to race, like back in the day on Daytona Beach, you

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know, his claim to fame is like, he, he is in the National Motor Sports Hall of Fame.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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And then he, he got into promotion.

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And he started doing, like, trying to promote racing and, and,

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and all those types of things.

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So that's, and so Spartanburg is kind of a hotbed and one of

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these, like Bud Moores from there.

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I don't know if you, how familiar you're from nascar, but like I used to

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hang out with Bud Moore all the time.

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He's in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

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so it was like the precursor in Spartanburg is like a big NASCAR

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town in a big motor racing town.

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I don't follow it at all.

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and I used to followed a bunch as the kid cuz it was always on tv.

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but I never really got that too, too into it.

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That's kinda how we, we grew up in Spar and obviously my parents,

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met at a young, young age.

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You know, they went to high school together.

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They got married super young, like when they were 18.

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they had my sister when they were like 21, 22.

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And then they had me when I was like, when they were 28.

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My sister's about six years older than me and.

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I just grew up there and I went to, went to middle school there, went to high

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school there, went to college there.

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my sister definitely has a more of a travelers' mentality than

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I do, and she kinda came out to Jackson to, visit college friends.

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Like she went to college, Charleston on the coast in South Carolina and they, her,

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some of her friends were out here and she literally came out here for like a couple

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weeks and called my parents in Athens.

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So she's in all her.

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and then she, cuz she obviously loved it.

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And then she, I visited her son during college summers, really loved it.

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Got done with school.

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and the plan was to come out here for a summer.

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And I brought my girlfriend at the time, who's now my wife with me.

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cuz my, my, my wife was, we went to high school together.

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We went to, we grew up together.

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We went, we had the same first.

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Teacher, we have a class picture at our house.

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you don't meet many people who met their wives in first grade . Yeah.

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It's,

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it's kind of a funny, party, I don't know, stunt or whatever you wanna call it.

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Pull out that picture every now and then, like ask people.

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Who's me and who's her?

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. That's funny.

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She, yeah, she's the one up front holding the sign and I'm the

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one in the back cause I'm tall.

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so is this

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the type of town where everybody knew who you were and what was going on

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with, with Ryan Allen around town?

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And if you got in any trouble, your parents heard about it?

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you know, a little bit.

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It was a big town though.

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Like it's, you know, I joke about it cause like I so coach the golf

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team here and there's 12, there's 12 high schools and for a, in the

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state of Wyoming, Uhhuh , well, there was 16 high schools in our county.

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Oh,

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okay.

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Yeah.

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Little bit bigger.

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Like a little bit bigger.

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Right.

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And, and we were one of the biggest high schools in the state that we went to.

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Like, we had 2000 kids in our high school, and it was only three grades.

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so like sports were extremely competitive.

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Our football team was very good every year.

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Basketball team was very good every year.

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you know, so it was a big town.

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Like, my parents would, would know if I was doing, you know, doing

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something I shouldn't be doing, someone would let them know.

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I'm sure.

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We, I kind of grew up in a really cool neighborhood.

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We would just go outside and we would play all day.

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Like my, one of my best friends through the day lived up,

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lived four houses down from me.

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Mm-hmm.

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. And, she, she knew she could find me down there at the nettle south,

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or she could find me, you know, on the other side of the neighborhood

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playing, playing basketball with, with some of these other kids.

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You know, I didn't really, venture too far off and I would just, And when

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it's time to eat, I would come home.

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type of situation.

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we were always out doing something mostly balled around playing some kind of sport.

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Sure.

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Which is which, which is a great way to grow up mean.

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I feel kind of like that with my kids living here.

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We live in Melody and They, they play outside all the time.

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You know it so harder in the hard, well, harder in the winter, but in the summer

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they're out and about, which is awesome.

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Just

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say, be back for lunch and we'll see you for dinnertime as well.

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Yeah, these boys, my boys man, they eat so they, they're gonna show up.

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, I think I did the same thing.

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Grow.

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Yeah, it was just, you're in the neighborhood and out

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and about and it's, yeah.

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You knew when it was time to show up for home to go to dinner For sure.

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Yeah.

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You know,

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your belly told you got in.

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Yeah.

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You get into middle school and high school, you know, you get a little bit

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more freedom and you know, start to spend the night out more with friends

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and just doing different things like spending a lot of time at the basketball

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courts and baseball fields and, you know, Life kind of for those six,

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seven years, life kind of revolved around what, what sport was in season.

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We didn't have to travel, like we travel here.

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Like I tell some of my friends back home like, yeah, I took a six hour bus ride

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to go to Casper to play golf Target.

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They're like, you've lost your mind.

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, our, our longest ride was 45 minutes and we used, didn't complain about.

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You know, it was just a different world to grow.

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It was a different perspective for sure.

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I mean, it's

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all relative to where you're living and where you're growing up.

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Mm-hmm.

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for sure.

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it's the way it works.

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And so you moved out here, followed your si, your older sister, and

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now you are the golf coach for the boys and the girls team in.

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Here in town for the Jackson Hole High School.

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and you're a teacher as well and Yep.

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And what do you teach?

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I teach at the middle school and I work primarily in sixth grade language arts

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classrooms with, I'm a special education teacher, so I'm working with certain kids,

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trying to help them access the general education curriculum and, Learn how

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to, read and write a little bit better.

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And I can also used to, I used to teach math as kinda lean mostly

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towards reading and writing these days.

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but also have the ability to teach, you know, more specific reading.

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you know, decoding, really specific skills, skillset for teaching,

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reading, you know, decoding and fluency and those types of things.

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Decoding.

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What's decoding in reading

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decoding is just being able to break down multi words and like understand what

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letter sound recognition is and you know, put, put letters together to make words

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and your ability to do that, to do that.

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but you know, the dream wasn't always to be a school teacher.

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I'm very, like, I didn't have a teaching degree when I moved to Jackson.

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No.

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no.

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I was pre-med at school.

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Uhhuh you know, both my roommates in college are both doctors right now, and

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I took the MCAT our senior year, junior year at school and did okay on it.

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And, you know, I just wasn.

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As passionate about it as they were.

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You know, I graduated wofford with a, a degree in biology.

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then I, you know, I moved to Jackson and the, the goal was to, you know,

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move out here, try it out, see how it goes just for a summer, and then move

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back to South Carolina and try to chase the, the doctor dream and go do that.

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You know, or dentistry was kind of what I was.

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and I just fell in love with Jackson and loved it.

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And, you know, I've kind of bounced around and done all kinds of different

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work and I eventually, went back to school again to get my teaching degree.

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that's a, that's a really short version of that story, but , where'd

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you get your teaching degree from?

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I went back to school.

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And got, I went to Western Governor's University online and got my

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master's in, this is it, this is where I use my biology degree.

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I got, my master's in six through 12 Science Oh, . Yeah.

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To be able to teach science classrooms.

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So like any science classroom that's taught either middle

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school or high school.

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and then when I was.

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Kind of trying to get my foot in the door.

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10 years ago.

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This, so I been in the school district for 10 years.

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10 years ago I was trying to get my foot in the door.

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I was a paraprofessionals, which is like a teacher's aid.

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Mm-hmm.

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. And I was a special education profession paraprofessional.

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So I was working with kids with special needs in the classroom and outside the

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classroom, and I really enjoyed it.

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so I went back to school again and got my master's in special education, K-12.

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And got a job almost instantly that summer and been doing that for

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nine years now, either elementary level or the middle school level.

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And how did you get into becoming the golf coach?

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so the back, kind of back my story up, when I first moved here, my first job in

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Jackson was, to be a caddy at Teton Pines.

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So I didn't really start playing golf, at all until I was about 20.

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. I played baseball and basketball all pretty much year round

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growing up and never, we just didn't play a whole lot of golf.

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I didn't have a whole lot of access to golf.

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there were some public, you know, tracks in my hometown, a lot of

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golf in my hometown, actually.

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There's a lot of really good golfers in my hometown.

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I just didn't do it.

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my grandfather played a lot, but I was just too busy playing

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basketball and baseball.

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But I started playing towards the end of college with my

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grandfather and really enjoyed it.

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And I moved to Jackson and I, I really got into it, the golf.

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and then when I moved to Jackson, my sister knew the caddy master at the

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Pines, through some connection they had and he was able to set me up.

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Caddying out there.

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So I cadid out there for an entire summer, almost every day, and I was

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like, this is the best job in the world.

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I get, I get up, I go caddy at 8:00 AM I would generally carry two bags

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for 18 holes, and it was like twice amount of work button, half the

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amount of time, if that makes sense.

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So I make double the money versus carrying one bag for two rounds.

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I carry two bags for one round.

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and I would go every day and I got hooked into this group of guys who

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played every morning and they wanted me to come caddy for every morning.

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And they would play so fast.

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And so I'd be done by noon by noon at the latest with, you know, around

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a hundred bucks in my pocket cash.

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And I have all afternoons to do whatever I want 'em to do, living in

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Jackson Hole so I can go ride my bike.

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I can.

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Fish hike, but generally go back to the course.

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Cause the Pines would allow us access to go play in the late afternoons.

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and I would just go play and it was awesome.

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So that's kind of how I got in the golf world.

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So I did that for three summers at The Pines and I ended up working in the

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golf shop, some a little bit over there.

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And the cart barn, just like bringing just like a halftime employee on the,

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on the golf side and then halftime on.

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and then, three Creek opened up like around oh 5 0 6 when it opened up.

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A friend of mine was working over there and he's like, Hey,

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you should come work over here.

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It's really awesome.

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they didn't have caddies, but I went over, started working over

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golf cart barn and those things.

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good group of friends and it was just like the newest, latest, and greatest

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thing in Jackson with Three Creek Open.

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Cause the only two other courses were Pines and Golf and Tennis at the time.

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and I love it.

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And I then I, I kind of worked my way up through the, through the ranks there.

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And I got to a point where I thought I was good enough and I wanted to

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be a, I decided I wanted to be a corporate professional, so I, I

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entered into the PGA world and you guys could go to school for that.

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And I started doing that.

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And at the same time though, I Buffy, my wife and I were.

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We had bought a lot in Melody Ranch, an affordable lot.

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We started building our house in like oh 8, 0 9.

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she becomes pregnant in oh nine or oh eight.

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you know, there's a lot going on with our first son, Charlie and

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I was like working every day.

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Cause that's a guy's a golf professional, especially in a mountain

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town, you don't get a day off.

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Like you, you've worked all the time.

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And she was a school teacher.

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She had every day off.

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. So, we decided that, and, and then the, my, my golf, the guy I worked for

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there was like, if you really wanna pursue this, you need to, you need to

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go somewhere in the winter and be a pro there too, and like move around

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and do those different types of things.

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I was like, I can't do that.

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Like, I have a wife, a new house of a wife who's pregnant.

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Huh.

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You know, like it's just not in the books.

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Like I can't do.

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so I decided that I was gonna get outta the golf business and I was going, I

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didn't really know what I wanted to do.

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And, but then the opportunity came along where I had, I could go back to

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school, become a school teacher, and, so I went and did that and got, did

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my student teaching at the community.

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and then the, you know, got the teaching job.

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But, so that leads me into the golf world.

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So the golf, your original question was, how did I become a golf coach?

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So that backs it up.

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Like, so I've always enjoyed working with kids, obviously as, as a teacher.

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And I always, like when I was a golf at Three Creek, I always

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loved doing like junior lessons and all those types of things.

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So I would go and I knew Coach Whiz, coach Whit was the coach

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of the high school for 19 years.

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I worked with his wife Sherry, at the middle.

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Two amazing people, both special education teachers also.

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you know, when Sherry retired, I took her a job at the middle school, and when Coach

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Whiz retired from being the golf coach to the high school, I took over for him.

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So it's kind of funny, I took both their jobs.

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but I went and interviewed for the job and I got the job based off my

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background of, you know, working with youth and also my golf, background.

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and that was in December of 18 and kind of took over that job, the coaching job.

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And it was like, you know, it's been amazing.

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It's been awesome.

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I've been doing it for four years now, and we have, you know, a really

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solid, great group of, of kids.

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And we've, we've built a, we've built a program that's been successful.

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It's been a while.

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Do you have any

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benchmarks that you guys have achieved, since the four

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years you've been doing this?

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Yeah,

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so right when we, when we took over.

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So I say we like, I have four coaches that work with me.

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I'm the head coach.

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Nick Bath is my assistant coach, and then we have three volunteer coaches,

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Steve White, HS, Rossel, and El.

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you know, and those, each of those guys have joined at different

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points with within the four years.

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But LB and Nick have kind of been with me since the beginning.

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you know, LB actually interviewed to be the be the head golf coach against

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me, and I got the job and then I immediately called him and said, Hey, do

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you want to be in and help me on this?

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And he's like, yes.

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I was like, let's do it.

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and then Nick was working at the school district with me and Nick.

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Interested in helping.

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And then LB has some things happen where he couldn't do full-time.

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And we, we, I got Nick on board and Nick's been amazing.

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And then two, two parents, Steve White, who, well, Steve White's a parent

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of one of our kids on the golf team, but he is also like my big brother.

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Like he's, I've known Steve for 20 years.

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Like went, I'd say I started Catting at The Pines in 20 years ago.

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First person I CAD for at The Pines was Steve White.

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Hmm.

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Like, and he's from Clemson or he went to Clemson.

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So we hit it off instant.

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And then hs.

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Russell moved in town and his son joined the team, and he's been

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a phenomenal coach and amazing mentor and everything for me also.

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but yeah, benchmark.

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So when, when we jumped in, we were three A and then we joined for a, immediately.

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So we got thrown into the biggest pool in Wyoming as far as, you know,

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competition, because foray is all the biggest schools in the state.

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We're the smallest four a school in the state.

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in our first year, our girls, we had three seniors that year.

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My first year, they, they were all juniors that year.

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We did have five, but two of 'em decided to go abroad for the fall

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semester, so they missed golf season.

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And there were two are better players.

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and then they came back.

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So they, we didn't finish, we finished like six that year.

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And girls in 10th and Boys, we weren't very good.

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We were super young.

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and then the next year, so that's in, in 2020, we went to Casper for state and

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we had all five of those senior girls.

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they were really good.

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They, we knew they had opportunity to make a run at winning championship.

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and then our boys kind of surprised us and surprised everybody.

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They were winning after day one at state championship.

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They were really young.

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We had one freshman, two sophomores and two juniors on that team.

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And then we had the five senior girls and they both end up finishing second, you

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know, runner up and four, a competition in our second year in the program.

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So it was like, right, we might be onto something here.

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And then the next year in 2021, we, we, we had the opportunity to host state.

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So when I took over.

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they haven't, they, they hadn't had very many home tournaments in a while.

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Like, cause it got really hard to host in Jackson with

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everything going really private.

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Mm-hmm.

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golf clubs and just, it was just, and people, you know, they have depth that's

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respect their membership and they, they don't wanna alienate the members shit.

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They don't wanna give up their golf course, those types of things,

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which is I totally understand.

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But me being in the golf industry, and knowing a lot of people from

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my previous work, I was able to just like make those connections.

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And you know, I, I know the pros and I know some of these GMs and I

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know a lot of the members and those types of things where we were able

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to, you know, start hosting home tournaments and we're not hosting,

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we're hosting tournaments at Shooting Star, like we're hosting tournaments

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at sporting club, golfing, tennis.

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Pines.

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Like it's, you know, and people are excited around the state to come play.

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I think everybody would agree we had the best courses in the state.

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I mean, golf Digest agrees with me for sure.

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Cause they all, they, they all our courses the best in the state every year.

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but in 2021 we had the opportunity to get in line.

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We jumped a few people cuz we haven't hosted state in a very long time.

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and we put in a bid to host state with the Wyoming High School Association

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and we got the bid and the, the main piece of that bid was one, we had to

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have two golf courses cuz one golf course wouldn't give up two days.

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They only give up one day.

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So we split it between sporting club and shooting star.

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And then, it's the hotels, the hotel situation in this town, as

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everybody knows is really hard.

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And we were able to get the Virginian.

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To give us a discounted rate on like 50 or 60 hotel rooms for two

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nights in mid-September during fall arts to, to allow us to host.

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And that was the, that was the amazing piece of it.

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And it, that was a two year planning process to get that tournament.

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and we got it.

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And you know, during the middle of that, Virginia got sold . Oh, . So

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I'm like, oh gosh, we're, they're gonna cancel the tournament.

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They're, they're not gonna honor those rates.

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That type of thing.

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You know, like, who knows who these new owners are.

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and they honored it, which is amazing.

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so kudos to them.

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They were, they were amazing.

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So we hosted in 2021.

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we re we were rebuilding the girls program at that point cause all

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five of those girls graduated.

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We had like three or four girls on the team at that point.

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Not very much experience for those girls when we had one girl

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playing in the state championship.

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Cause she qualified as the individual but our boys team going in to, I

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thought we had a chance and after day one we were losing day two.

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We came from behind and we won the state champ.

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which is really cool.

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It was really cool cause we went home and it's something that

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hadn't been done before and then

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we go this year to Rock Springs and we went again and we come from behind.

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and it was, it was just, you know, so that's something that's never been done.

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In Jackson Hole high school history.

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You know, we were, that 2012 boys team won the three A state championship, right?

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no team ever won a four a state championship and no

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team ever won it twice.

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And we won it twice and uh, you could do it back to back

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is pretty, pretty phenomenal.

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And to do it last year, like on the road in Rock Springs, you know, I

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kind of heard the rumblings a little bit that we won in 2021 cause we

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were playing at home and it was our home courses and like we knew the

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courses better than everybody else.

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that, those types of things.

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But like, go out and play really well this past fall in 2022 was,

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was pretty awesome to see those kids backed it up and they played well.

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So now pressure's on right?

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Pressure's on treasure.

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well, we're, you know, we'll go do it again.

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Try to go do it again in Sheridan next year, in the fall.

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And then we have this group of girls right now with that, we have

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10 girls on the golf team, which is the most girls we've ever had.

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and they're a great group.

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They're mostly current sophomores.

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Our catchin is a junior.

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So in the fall they'll be all juniors and in one senior, and I think

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they got a serious shot if they put the time in and put the work in.

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There's a lot of potential there.

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And these girls love it.

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They love golf.

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There wasn't a time when I would go different course

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in town, like in the summer.

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See one of them out there playing.

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Hmm.

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Which is kinda cool.

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That is.

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And recruiting.

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And we're recruiting girls now.

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Are really good lacrosse players and like, really like good soccer

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players and play basketball and like, play all these other sports.

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They're athletes.

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Like they're, they're on the dance team.

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Like they're, they're really athletic girls and they're like, they're choosing

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to play I don't, I don't know exactly why they're choosing to play golf, but

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they're, they, they, they seem to like it and they like what we have going on as a

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program and, and we have a lot of fun, but we also, you know, try to be competitive.

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Congratulations on that success, Ryan.

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we are going to take a quick break to get a word from one of our sponsors, and

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then we'll come back and get into this championship golf team that you have.

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Ryan, welcome back.

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You just shared with us how after taking over the golf team a year

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later, The boys team won a state championship, took over in 29, 20 18.

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Your first full year was what?

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2019?

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Yep.

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2020.

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You won a championship?

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20.

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21.

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20.

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We won.

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We won.

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We finished second.

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Both boys and girls finished second 20 and we won.

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We won in 21 and

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we won in 22.

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One in 21 and 22.

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And.

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as a coach, how are you motivating these young athletes to help them see, I mean,

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it's more than just being out on the golf course and, and you know, swinging

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the, the club and hitting the ball.

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I mean, they gotta put in some other work to it.

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Right.

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you know, Nick and I kind of, when we took started this, it's like the focus,

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and I, I've said this to, to parents in meetings and things like we have a,

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you know, we try to focus on the things that we feel like that are important.

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You know, we try to build a program that will help our kids to be successful on and

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off the golf course, if that makes sense.

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You know, the really cool thing about the game of golf is it teaches us a

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lot about ourselves and it teaches us a lot about life in general.

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Cause you know, every day is different.

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you can hit a, you can hit a bad shot and get good luck.

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You can hit a good shot, hit pad luck.

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There's adversity out there.

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you have to play conditions.

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It's so mental.

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You're playing, you.

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Over four hour span and you're only actually doing something like actually

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motion for very few minutes of that . There's a lot of mental capacity

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and things that go on with that.

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You know, it's the only sport that I know of where you have

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to call a penalty on yourself.

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you know, we talk about, integrity and character a lot with our program like.

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integrity, like being able to do the right thing when you know it's the

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right thing and when no one else is watching and doing the right thing.

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You know, there's a lot to be said for that.

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so we try to build this culture and get, it's competitive, right?

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It's competitive culture, but it's also very, fun and the

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kids get along really well and they're encouraging of each other.

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And that's like from the top down, you know, that's from the

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best player to the worst player.

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you know, and that's, that's boys and girls.

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So, you know, we have some, we have a slogan that we do, like it's,

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I'll put it on the back of every t-shirt we have, it's, call it, it's

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attitude and effort on the back of it.

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And you know, that's just like two things that you can always

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control no matter the situ.

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No matter what you're doing, whether on the golf course, off the golf

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course, you can control your attitude.

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You can control your effort, you put into something.

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no.

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So we try to build that up like, and those things like creep into help.

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What, you know, a lot of coaches consider what you try to build with

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what your culture is, you know, and.

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we have a competitive culture where our kids are competing against each other,

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but they're also, they're, they believe in each other and they support each

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other, which is a really cool thing.

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you know, like to get on the bus to go to tournaments, our kids have

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to play a qualifier each week and they have to go play a nine hole

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match and then count their score.

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And in general, the best score is to get on the bus, and that's from the top down.

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So, like last year, Mason and Hayes and Adam, You know, our best players, they

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have to go do the same qualifier as our JV kids, you know, and if they don't

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play well, you know, that's gonna be reflective in their position on the team.

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It's just, it's just the competitive culture

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we've built.

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and is that just a round of golf that they go play on their

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own and score themselves and

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they play in a group of four?

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Uhhuh and I, I generally put.

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and we have five coaches, so we'll go out, or a coach will play with a

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group of three, those types of things.

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so yeah, I mean, they're, and they're scoring themselves, so they are, you

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know, they're in control of, you know, we, we talk all the time about, you know,

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honesty, integrity, trust, care, pride, like all these things that, You know how

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you do one thing is how you do everything.

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Like you gotta be, the details matter and you know, we trust you to go

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out and, you know, give your best.

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And you know, what you shoot is what you shoot, what how you play is how you play.

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Some days it's good and some days it's not.

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but you know, as long as you control your attitude and you give your

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best effort, I'm happy of that.

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You know, like before state championship last year, you.

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I told our kids, I just want them to go compete.

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Just go compete, give your best effort.

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If we compete as hard as we can and we put, we have a good attitude and we

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try, try our best and it doesn't add up then, and we don't win, that's fine.

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I'll be, I'll be super happy.

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Cause you, have you ever

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read, Dr.

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Bob Rotella's book, how Champions Think?

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Yes.

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I see the smile on your face.

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Do you have your students read it?

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I don't.

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I don't, I should, I've read a lot of different things.

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Like, so like over the pandemic I read like, a few, few sports books.

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Ro Rotella's got some really good stuff out there.

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John, John Gordon has some, you know, team building positive mindset

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type books that I've read and done.

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you know, try to incorporate, you know, bits and pieces of those things.

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I like to study other coaches and like what they do, like, not like.

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like big, like big time coaches, like coaches that are like running

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these mega programs, right?

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Like big college programs like Ganey, Mike Chesky, you know, people

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that are running, you know, very successful championships type cultures.

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you know, the most recent one is Deion Sanders.

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kind, fascinated, fascinated his rise.

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it's just, it's really, I, you can get, you can get really good bits and pieces.

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, you know how they do what they do and you know why they do

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what they do is most important.

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Like, why are you doing this?

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And you know how they've been able to build success for their kids in

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their program, on and off whatever court it is they're playing.

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You know, that's what really matters to me.

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Like I said that to our parents at Pinehurst, I said, we, we've had

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the opportunity to take our kids to national championships last two years.

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we had this big dinner and I was like, it's like this program's not

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built on trying to win championships.

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It's built on trying to get our kids to be, great people on and off a golf course.

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and one of my parents is like, well, winning is a lot of fun.

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He's like, they're like, we like winning.

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I'm like, I, I know.

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Me too.

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Trust me.

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We wouldn't be here and pioneers playing this tournament.

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We didn't win.

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But, a lot of the kids that are in our program, Have very suc.

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I mean, I, I think all of them.

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I mean, if you're able to make it and do very well in Jackson Hole with the

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economic climate and what it costs to live here and all these types of things, and

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how competitive it is here, their parents are very competitive, successful people.

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Right.

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So, they, they put that in into their kids too.

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Like, I got some extremely competitive kids on my golf Hm.

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so it's just like getting them to believe in themselves and to, you

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know, believe in their abilities.

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So it's like the chicken and the egg.

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Like are you able to, are you good cause you believe in yourself

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or do you believe in yourself?

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Cause you're good.

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Well, I think it's a little bit of both, right?

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. Yeah.

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So like I feel like I'm, I feel like I'm a good golfer cuz I,

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I've seen myself at good shots.

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Or am I able to like really believe in what I'm doing and then

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that helps me to hit good shots?

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Well, it's a little bit of both.

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you know, and then putting yourself in a competitive experiences

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and those environments provides you with that perspective.

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And when you do well in those competitive environ, Then, then that's when the light

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bulbs go off and you're like, mm-hmm.

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, wait a second.

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I might, I, I got something here.

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I'm pretty good at this sport.

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and I, I'm, I feel like I can go compete against some people.

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Like, so when we took our boys team to Pines two years ago, it was the

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biggest thing they've ever been in.

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They're playing against, you know, 52 teams from across the country

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and They're nervous and all these things, but they go playing this

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tournament, they don't do great.

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We didn't do that great, but we didn't do that bad either.

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All things considered, we finished like 30th or something like that over

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May 40th the first year we finished 40th out of 52, and the second

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year we finished 30th out of 52.

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but I say like getting them in that arena, in that environment

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to gain that perspective was huge for our kids in our program.

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And we took 'em the year after they finished.

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Generally it was open to only state champions, but I was able to make,

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you know, basically just like convince the tournament director to let us come

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Yeah.

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As a runner off.

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So we took our boys and girls team that year to Pines cause they were

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both runners up and we were the only team in the country that had both

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eight boys and girls team there.

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from Little Oil, Jackson, Wyoming.

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And that paid huge dividend.

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For our boys program.

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It was all five of those girls.

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It was kinda like their wan song.

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They were graduating, it was their like big, like we're going out together.

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Mm-hmm.

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, this is, this is fun golf.

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The boys day, we were going, I mean the girls were going to compete, but

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the boys were like going to like, Hey, this is gonna carry on to next year.

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And then we went again and carry on the next year.

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Like that experience just a team bonding.

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Anyway, we ran so much fun.

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Like it's a blast we could playing golf against these kids and doing

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private rounds and like just take them, take 'em back home.

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For me, I'm from.

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It was a blast introducing them to like, you know, barbecue

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and all those types of things.

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It was, it was so much fun.

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you know, and we were able to do that.

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Like we raised some money to do that, but we also have extremely

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supportive parents that, really helped us cover a lot of those costs.

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And they were excited that their kids were getting the opportunity to go do that.

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But that paid huge dividends for our program going down the road where we

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were able, now, like you're stepping on the first tee of the state championship.

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Why?

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There's some nerves there, but like, wait a second.

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I played in the national championship.

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Mm-hmm.

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. Yeah.

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So it's like all about, it's about perspective and, you know, being

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able to, understand that you know your experiences, good or bad.

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If you think about 'em the right way, they're gonna help you along your way.

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Well said, Ryan . Well said.

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I, I am not knowing a lot about golf.

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I have another question for you.

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Sure.

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for the world of coaching in golf, how much of your time is spent with

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these students, these young athletes, on the course, and then how much time

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is spent off the course with them?

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In two ways.

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One is off the course for the strength training.

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A lot of people don't think of golf as needing strength training, but it does.

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Mm-hmm.

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and, and then how much of the time is about that mental, strength

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training as well to where they always can remain in the right

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mindset when they're on the course.

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Cuz you mentioned a lot of the time.

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They're not even swinging the club when they're on the course.

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They're walking from one spot of where the ball is to the next.

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Right.

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Well, you know, in the past year we did the strength and conditioning program

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of Charlie over, trained to be balanced, Charlie and aie, and that was awesome.

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It was great.

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You know, a lot of people don't think of as a golf rest and you're needing

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to do strength and conditioning or, you know, flexibility rotational,

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you know, type of training.

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But it's huge.

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Like if you look at any of the guys or any, any successful player or

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any successful college program right now, there, there is a, a major

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piece of their puzzle of what they do is strength and conditioning.

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You know, they're doing it year.

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and they're working on, you know, their biomechanics.

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when you're looking at companies like tpi, Tys Performance Institute that Charlie

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is trained in, that are doing, you know, revolutionary, brand new stuff like

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this all started, all the strength and conditioning things started back in when

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Tiger came on the scene, to be honest, like Tiger came on the scene, they're

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like, here's this guy hits the ball, has a great eagle, ity, hits the ball.

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Country mile, you know, makes every putt.

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and he dominated the golf row and everybody was like, wait a second,

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hold on, there's something to this, you know, . So that kinda opened the eyes to

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a lot of guys on board and it's kind of, it's sprinkled down through the system.

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Like you see, you know, a lot of private clubs have, you know,

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like Three Creek for example.

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they have, and I think Shooting Star too.

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They have.

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On staff, you know, a strength and conditioning person that, you

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know, runs workout programs, but also runs golf specific workout

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programs for their memberships.

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and then the mental aspect of it.

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So, so when I'm at a tournament, I, it's hard to coach golf in a way where, I

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feel I'm a more of a caddy than anything.

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I'm a, and it's actually nice.

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I'm a caddy, but I can't carry the qu, so it's kinda nice.

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but you know, you think of a golf course that's spread out over, I don't know

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how many acres, 150, 200 acres, and, you know, I got 13 kids out there all over

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the place, and I'm like trying to walk around and, and get to each of those kids.

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as best I can, you know, and we're allowed three coaches at a

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tournament, which is very helpful.

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so we trying to kind of try to strategize like how we're going

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to cover our kids and see 'em all.

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And like, and we know like from knowing our kids really well and

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spending time with our, our kids is who needs the most support?

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And that can vary from day to day, you know, like we.

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We have the ability to, you know, kind of read the situation and

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read, you know, who, how someone warms up, how someone feels.

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you know, we can go out there and walk them and when you're walking

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with them, like, so it's a lot of, a lot of it's like process oriented.

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Like, get to the ball, get the yardage, we're gonna read what the conditions

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are, how we swing today, how are we feeling about certain things.

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Like some people love to walk through that process and do all

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the analytical things like that.

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Then some of our players are more field players and they're.

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Yeah, give me the eight iron and get outta the way.

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I'm just gonna hit the ball cuz they're like, I got this.

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and some like one of those exact numbers, front yards, backyard, you know, where

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the pen is, those types of things.

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. And then there's some, there like a mixture in between.

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And it all, it's like a, I tell people like I feel like I'm more part,

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psychologist at times with our dad, with our kids versus like a coach.

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that's a huge piece of it.

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That's a huge piece of cadion too, like knowing your clientele and.

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, you know, how to put them in the right mindset where, you know, they're not

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nervous and they're, you know, they feel confident over the ball and they,

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you know, like I still do that today.

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Like, I still caddy, I cady at a shooting star every summer and enjoy it.

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It's fun.

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you know, they call me up to, to caddy and their member guests every year and

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I go do it and, cause it's a lot of fun.

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but, you know, being a, being.

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Coaches, like being part-time psychologist for sure.

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you know, you know, some, and then, then, then there's a difference

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between coaching boys and girls too.

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you know, and I'm one of the few coaches that coaches both, when you

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think about it, Paul Dyckman, our tennis coach, coaches, boys and girls.

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And I think that's the only other sport where there's a, there is

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a coach for both boys and girls.

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so.

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and I enjoy both of it so much.

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It's so much fun.

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you know, like I said earlier, this group of girls that we

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have right now are a, a blast.

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They're so much fun.

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They're a great group.

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You know, I've known, most of 'em from middle school when I, they were in

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some of the classes that I worked in.

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And then, you know, a few of 'em, one of 'em is my neighbor

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and I know her and her family.

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And anyway, one of 'em, Steve White's daughter, and I've known Caitlin since

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she was a baby, you know, so it's, you know, it's a great, great group

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of kids, you know, and in our boys program too, like, it's like our senior

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captain last year, Mason Evans, I've known Mason since he was in third grade.

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Hmm.

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Like I was his upward basketball coach.

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In third grade . You know, like I, it's just like these relationships that

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I've built in this community, for the 20 years or 15, 16 years, like before

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I took over the golf coach that I'm like, they're like, keep coming up.

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I'm like, oh yeah, I know you from this.

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I know you from that.

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Like, I mm-hmm.

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. I used, I've helped you in a ski shop.

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My wife knows you from this.

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Like we're, you know, between like.

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Coaching youth sports cuz I coach basketball and baseball forever in town.

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Being a school teacher, being involved in our church.

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you know, working in a ski shop for 20 years out at dvs.

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and then working at golf courses, cast this net and I know a lot, you know,

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we know a lot of, lot of folks in town, you know, and, you know, and

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playing softball for, for 15 years.

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You know, and, and the competitive men softball league, you

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know, those types of things.

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Like I met, you, meet people from all different walks of life.

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Mm-hmm.

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when you, when you do different things, which is kind of cool.

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It's really cool.

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Well, I

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a applaud you for how you and your wife have embraced this community and.

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have certainly gotten out there and you're giving back to it

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in, in a multitude of, of ways.

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And it's not just through the school system.

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It's, you've always given back to the community.

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And, and that's very, very much appreciated.

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And I think the, the athletes, these young athletes who you work with see it and

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they take you serious about your coaching.

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Where you can help them and where they can go with the work that they put into the

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program, into themselves and each other.

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Yeah.

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It's been, you know, yeah, you, I mean you say, you know, we put a lot

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in Jackson Jackson's put a lot in dust and we're thankful for it for.

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Well, and certainly made, met a lot of amazing people in this town that we never,

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never would've met if we didn't move here.

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Sure.

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Cause there's people from all over the country and world here.

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Mm-hmm.

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that are extremely supportive of, of my wife and I, and our family and what we do.

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And we're, we're very thankful for it.

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Well, I appreciate

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what you guys do.

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Who knows, maybe one day you'll be teaching one of my boys playing golf.

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Awesome.

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I love it.

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Or basketball or baseball or some other athletic endeavor that they

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take up.

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Yeah.

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I, I look forward to.

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It'd be awesome.

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Well,

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Ryan, congratulations again.

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I appreciate you taking the time to sit down and talk with me today.

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And I know, um, You'll have a, whichever way the year goes, I

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know it'll be successful for, for you guys, because that's the

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mindset that you guys have there.

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For sure.

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Yeah.

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We're gonna get after it here and I don't know, we're become a calendar.

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Two weeks.

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In two weeks we start golf training

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. Well just think, you know, in

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golfing all year round or, I mean

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that's,

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that's

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a funny story.

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I'll leave you with this story.

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So that's a funny, we were national championships and I'm sitting there

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with the Georgia High School champ, state champion and he's like,

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you know, it's pretty amazing.

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Y'all are here at soon you only get to play golf, you know, four weeks.

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I mean, not four weeks, four months outta the year.

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He goes, I hate to get into a skiing competition with y'all.

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I said, yes, you would, because that kid over there is

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state championship long skier

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So it was a lot of fun.

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That's, that's great.

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Yeah.

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Well, Ryan, I'll let you get back at it.

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Thanks for your time and thanks for what you do for our community and

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and for our school system as well.

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Yeah.

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Thanks for having me on.

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I really appreciate it.

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You

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got it.

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It was great to sit down and talk to you.

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Take care, bud.

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See, thanks.

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To learn more about Ryan Allen and his winning golf team, visit the Jackson

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Hole Connection, episode number 224.

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Get up off your couch and share this podcast with friends,

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families, and your cohorts.

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Easy to do.

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If you don't know how to do it, reach out to us via Instagram or Facebook.

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Thank you everybody who helps keep this podcast going each

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week, and I really appreciate you sharing your time with me today.

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Cheers till next week when I see you right back here for another episode

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