Local teams to play in Pine Mountain Golf Conference


Harlan County’s Matt Lewis is expected to be one of the top golfers this season in the Pine Mountain Golf Conference.

Opening last season with Harlan County, Harlan, Bell County, Middlesboro and Knox Central as members, the Pine Mountain Golf Conference begins its second year with a tournament on Aug. 11 at the Wasioto Winds course in Pineville.
“We made connections last year and played against those teams a lot. We got to know the other coaches and teams, and everyone’s No. 1 focus is to get these kids out on the course and help them to learn the game and enjoy the game,” said Harlan coach Jeremy Lee.
“I’m excited to be a part of a new conference this season,” said Harlan County coach Greg Lewis. “We are going to play a full conference schedule with Bell County, Harlan, Middlesboro and Knox Central. We are laying the groundwork for a great golf program at HC moving forward.”
“We are very excited about starting the Pine Mountain Golf Conference this season. It is a great opportunity for our local teams to get the opportunity to play against each other on a weekly basis and not have to travel that far,” added Bell County coach Brad Sizemore. “We will be keeping points each week individually and as teams and will have a player of the year and all-conference awards at the end of the season . We are looking forward to getting this golf season started and with everything that has been going on in the last few months, hopefully, this will be something very positive for all the kids involved.”
Lee and Lewis agree that promoting the game among today’s youth is an important objective of the conference.
“I told my kids the other day that at some point you stop playing football. There are no rec football leagues for grown men. At some point, you stop playing baseball. But you never have to stop playing golf,” Lee said. “You can play golf with your dad or mom, and then when you get older you can take your kids. That’s what we want to instill in these kids, the love and discipline of the game as well as learning to deal with frustrations, because it is the most frustrating game on the planet. There are a lot of life lessons learned from playing golf. They will learn how to work and how to practice and how to deal with adversity and then once you learn how to do that the winning comes.”
Lewis said teams in the league will play each other regularly due to the schools’ proximity.
“We are also very excited to start our own event, the Black Bear Invitational, at Wasioto Winds in September,” Lewis said. “Also, we are looking forward to continue the tradition of the Harlan County Golf Championship with Harlan. This season, both schools should field full teams so we will be able to hold both the individual and team tournaments.”
Both HCHS and Harlan will also compete in Region 10, which includes:
REGION 10 — Barbourville, Bell County, Clay County, Corbin, Harlan County, Jackson County, Knox Central, Lynn Camp, McCreary Central, Middlesboro, North Laurel, Oneida Baptist Institute, Pineville, Pulaski County, Rockcastle County, Somerset, South Laurel, Southwestern, Wayne County, Whitley County, Williamsburg