Winning a high school state championship is not easy to do. Winning back to back is infinitely harder and the North Augusta High School Golf Team of 1982 and 1983 was the first to accomplish that feat for the Yellow Jackets.
North Augusta Country Club was the home of these young men and their golf skills were honed by years of practice, countless shots and love of sport.
Commander John Swank, ROTC coordinator and a big golf fan coached a team of seven young men to the first title. With a sparkling record of 40-1 at the time of spring break, they went on to win both the region and state title to claim their first championship and the second for NAHS. The team buried Irmo by 21 strokes at the state tournament. Members include David Steed, Randy Sapp, Mark Cox, Neal Boggs, Jeff Pope, Lee Harville and Greg Connell.
The 1983 season was led by Coach Gene Robbins and returning players Steed, Pope and Sapp. Joining them were Judd Boggs, Stephen Johnson and Bryan Fortune to bring the first-ever repeat state championship to North Augusta.
By their own admission, the 1982 championship wasn’t expected but the 1983 team had very high hopes entering the season. And not to disappoint, they remained undefeated in the 1983 season. They won their second straight title at the Furman University Course defeating Greenwood by a slim 9-shot margin. The win included a state championship for David Steed who defeated his teammate Jeff Pope by a one-shot margin 230 to 231. In honor of their championship, team members were awarded a commemorative putter that is included in the Hall of Fame display.
The 1983 team was invited to the Southern Cross tournament that included the very best high school golfers from South Carolina and Georgia in all classifications. The Yellow Jackets also won that event, considered even a tougher challenge than the state title as it included so many more teams and much more talent.
The doors open at 5 p.m. this year at the Wesley Center and the banquet begins at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22. Please call Chairman John Felak at 803-215-6056 with any questions. Tickets are available at Sno-Cap and Parks Pharmacy.