DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — This fall, Danville Area Community College will make history. For the first time ever, the Jaguars have a women’s golf team to go along with the renewal of the men’s program that was suspended in 2014.
“When I got the phone call there wasn’t really any questions if I really wanted to do it or not. I’m excited,” women’s head coach Debbie Toler said. “I love golf and it’s a passion of mine and I never got the opportunity to play collegiate golf so I’m excited to help these girls fulfill their dreams.”
“We want to be competitive right out of the gate,” men’s head coach Terry French said. “I’m not gonna say we’re gonna sit here and win something or whatever but I think I’ve got a good bunch of kids.”
It’s the first coaching job for Debbie Toler. Her biggest challenge is simply fielding a team. They currently only have three players, one of them is former Central standout Mackinze McCoy.
“I’d really like to have that 4th but we can take five to the tournaments, usually the 5th player is the tiebreaker so yes I would really love to see us have a full team by August 19th when school starts,” Toler said. “I’m still waiting for those phone calls and those emails that ‘Hey, I want to come play for you coach’.”
If they don’t get more players, the current three will still go to tournaments, but compete as individuals. No trouble there for the men, they have 11 on the roster already. And it’s almost all local. Westville’s Nick Pinter and Tri-County grad Logan Richardson are just a few. Pinter placed 6th in state last season.
“Really I was lucky, most of these kids have contacted me looking forward to playing and some said they wanted to come play for me and learn a little bit and hopefully I can help them out with that,” French said.
The new crop of players is hoping to return the Jaguars golf program to the days of Joe Springer and Terry Kegley, and the top of the conference.
The men’s first tournament is August 30th at Rend Lake.