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County coaches crash the golf course

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North Pitt football coach Brent Wooten hits a drive during the Pitt County Coaches Golf Tournament at Farmville Country Club on June 13, 2017. (Joe Pellegrino/The Daily Reflector)


The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

FARMVILLE — With Pitt County Schools now out for the summer, local coaches have a bit more time on their hands, and many of them decided to spend Tuesday afternoon on the golf course.

Farmville Golf and Country Club hosted the annual Pitt County Coaches Tournament, an event that doubles as both a fundraiser and a chance for coaches from high schools and middle schools across the county to get together and play 18 holes.

North Pitt is in its sixth year of organizing the event, which has previously been played at various courses in Pitt County. Though the event serves as an important fundraiser for Panthers athletics, tournament organizer and North Pitt golf coach Matt Goddard said a large part of its function is also to give county coaches an atmosphere to simply show up and have some fun.

“The goal is to honor the coaches in Pitt County for all that they do,” said Goddard, who is also an assistant football coach at North Pitt. “There’s stats everywhere where you can look and see that a kid who participates in sports or any extracurricular thing does better on the average than other kids in those same equations do. ... Coaches matter and they need to be honored, and that’s the goal is just to get them out here away from competition.”

Coaches from North Pitt were a part of two of the 15 teams that played in the event. Coaches from South Central made up another team, as well as A.G. Cox, E.B. Aycock and C.M. Eppes Middle Schools. Other teams included one from Country Mart and one from Havelock. Pitt County Schools Athletic Director Ron Butler also took part, as did current Barton College and former Pitt Community College softball coach Junior Bailey.

Roughly 60 total players participated. A team from Nash County, led by Nash Central Middle School coach Mark Wooten, took first place.

“People don’t realize it but the camaraderie of coaches in Pitt County is pretty awesome,” said North Pitt football coach and athletic director Brent Wooten, who played on a team that included former Panthers coach Dave Boal. “The guys from all six schools get along really well, and it’s really nice to get out here and have some social time and hang out and not be stressed. It’s just a good time to get together and socialize.”

Goddard said this year’s event would bring in somewhere between $3,000 and $4,000, coming from player entry fees and donations from more than 35 corporate sponsors.

While the goal is to ultimately have the event grow to try and benefit multiple programs in the county, Goddard said most of the money from this year’s event will go to North Pitt’s football program in an attempt to help cover costs for some students who are still struggling after being displaced by flooding from Hurricane Matthew late last year.

“We’ve got so many kids who can’t afford anything right now,” he said, noting that about 20 North Pitt players were affected by the flooding. “A lot of this will go to cleats and a lot will go toward safety equipment that’s needed. It’s helping to finance the football program so that we don’t burden those kids.”

Contact Jordan Anders at janders@reflector.com, 252-329-9594 or follow @ReflectorJordan on Twitter.