Oxford golf team seeking state championship for first time since 2018

Brady Stinnett, staff writer

The Oxford golf team will once again look to compete for a state championship title in their 2023 season with high expectations. 

The Chargers finished last year’s season with a third place finish behind Tupelo and Madison Central. The Chargers have not won a state championship title since the 2018 campaign. 

In the offseason, the boys team had two golfers sign to play at the Division-1 level after high school. Senior Matthew Downing committed to Southern Miss and senior Harlan Yerger committed to North Texas.

Assistant head coach Cliff Ormon is excited for the upcoming season led by a strong lineup with a lot of experience.

“Heading into the regular season, our golf team is a senior lead group that knows what it takes to compete at the 6A level for a state championship,” Ormon said. “The culture here is great. They love to play and are always pushing each other to compete at their highest level.”

Ormon also talked about how this season will fare, especially when there are two highly recruited golfers that are implemented into the team and lineup.

“A huge strength for the team is having two Division-1 golfers along with several other talented and experienced golfers who have competed at this level,” Ormon said. “It shows their commitment to working on their game year round. We are very excited to see what happens.”

Captain and four year player Harlan Yerger is one of the top players to watch this year for the Chargers. The North Texas commit is excited to see where this season is headed.

“It is exciting. I think we have a great team and we are going to do well. I feel like we have all worked hard,” Yerger said. “I’m excited to go out and compete. I feel that if we put in enough work as a team we should get rewarded.”

Yerger talked about what he has been working on the most, but more importantly touched on what the goal is for this season.

“I feel good, worked hard this off-season and feel that I put in enough work to be successful this season. I worked on my short game much more and sharpened up everything else,” Yerger said. “The goal is to compete and win the state title. We have a good shot this year if we can stay disciplined on the task at hand.”

Yerger also touched on what it was like being able to continue his golf career beyond high school and to pursue a future career playing at the next level.

“It was definitely a confidence booster. I am excited to see where it all goes. It created a peace within me that told me I was good enough to play this game at a high level and do it in a competitive field,” Yerger said. “It feels great. It’s a big opportunity and a blessing to be able to continue playing the sport that I love and want to do professionally one day.”

On the girls team, sophomore Suzanna Rowland talks about what she is looking forward to this season.

“I’m feeling pretty good, I have been playing a good amount and I am feeling confident,” Rowland said. “The team culture is great. It’s a positive environment with lots of laughs.”

Rowland also talked about what she has been focusing on for her game to help contribute to the team.

“I have worked on my chipping game and I have been practicing putting a lot more,” Rowland said. “As the season goes on, my goals are to start shooting a lower score each round and in tournaments. I also want to grow as a team player throughout the year.”

Coach Ormon touched on what his hopes are for this season and the goal that this team is capable of reaching.

“We will be hosting the state championship tournament and I hope that we are playing our best golf then,” Ormon said. “We want to see our team play to their potential and be ready for every challenge that comes their way.”