By Tommy Keeler Jr.
NEW MARKET -- Andrew Good spends most of his summer playing golf -- the game he loves. The Stonewall Jackson senior also spends part of it helping teach the game as well.
Good volunteers at Heritage Oaks in Harrisonburg with the First Tee program. Through the program Good works with youths, helping them learn the game.
"It's a national program that helps kids that wouldn't normally be able to play golf," Good said. "It provides them with clubs, lessons, teaches life lessons through the game of golf.
"It's a great program for kids."
Good and fellow Stonewall Jackson teammate Jonathan Koontz volunteer with the program. Good said he's given some thought to teaching the game after high school.
Stonewall Jackson coach Roger Wilkins said Good is a leader by example, and he hopes some of his younger teammates will look to him as a good example.
"I think our whole team realizes how hard he works at it," Wilkins said. "His work ethic -- that's where his leadership shows. They can learn from that, that hard work will pay off. My younger kids hopefully they'll watch and learn from him."
Good is ready and eager to start his senior season today when the Generals play in a Shenandoah District mini-tournament at Gypsy Hill Golf Club in Staunton at 8:30 a.m.
Last year Good had a very successful season. He helped lead the Generals to a first place finish in the Shenandoah District regular season.
Stonewall Jackson rallied from a 10-stroke deficit in the final two district tournaments to win the regular season title.
The Generals went on to finish fifth in the Region B tournament, but Good shot a 76 and advanced to the Group A state tournament for the first time.
He then shot a 127 at the two-day state tournament, which was reduced to 27 holes due to rain.
In the off season, Good said he's worked hard on trying to improve his game even more and trying to play tournaments as much as possible.
"He's playing well," Wilkins said. "He's hitting the ball well, striking the ball well. His swing looks better than ever -- it's smooth. He just looks good. You can really tell that he's really worked at it."
The Generals return a lot from last year's team. Koontz, a junior, will be the team's No. 2 player. Wilkins said junior Ben Rosenberger and senior Colton Harlow will be battling for the third and fourth spots in the top six. Junior Kory Somers will be at No. 5, while senior Eric Arnesen will be at 6.
With the Virginia High School League switching to six classifications things will be different in every sport. The Generals won't be able to win a district tournament title, but Good said the team still wants to win as many district mini-tournaments as they can.
The Generals will be a part of Conference 35 with Clarke County, Madison County, George Mason, Strasburg, Luray and Page County. The top two teams from the conference tournament advance to the Region 2A East tournament.
"I would say our goal as a team is to try to make that regional berth, go to the conference and hopefully be one of the top two," Wilkins said. "The goal is we want to advance as a team as far as we can."
Good said the overall goal is still to advance to states, which will be held at Shenandoah Valley Golf Club in Front Royal, as a team and individually.
"I definitely want to get there, and I definitely want to bring the team with me -- that's the big thing," Good said.
Good said the key to success for him is to stay on an even keel throughout the season.
"One of the biggest things for me is to stay mentally focused and not get too up or down or aggravated or frustrated -- just be calm," Good said. "That's how I play my best golf. So, that's one of the biggest things I've got to do this year."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org