Hensley makes history as she participates in match for Lady Bears


Hailie Hensley became the first female to compete in golf at Harlan County High School as she shot a 62 on Monday in a match at Pineville.

The Harlan County boys finished third in a five-team match Monday at the Wasioto Winds course in Pineville, but the big story of the day was Harlan County freshman Hailie Hensley making history as the first female to compete in a golf tournament from HCHS.
Hensley finished fourth in the girls competition with a 62, trailing three girls from Bell County. Macie Hendrickson was first with a 51, followed by Emma Neal with a 55 and Marli Hacker with a 59.
“I can’t say enough how impressed I was with Hailie tonight. She had been playing competitive golf for two months, teed it up against a group of girls who have been playing half their lives and stood toe to toe with them,” Harlan County coach Greg Lewis said. “Give Hailie a couple years and she will undoubtedly be a major factor in the 10th Region. I hope more young ladies see the success she’s having and come out to play in the years to come.”
Bell County won the boys competition with a 176, followed by Knox Central with a 179 and Harlan County with a 187. Barbourville and Williamsburg also competed.
Matt Lewis, a senior, led HCHS with a 42.
“Tonight was a match I decided to mix in a few guys to get some valuable match experience for the future. It’s something I plan on doing a few more times this season as well. These guys are the future of the program and this will be invaluable for them in the years to come,” Lewis said.
“Matt was third with a 42. It has been a season where one or two shots bounce a little different each round and he would have at least a couple wins this year,” Lewis said. “It’s part of the game but he’s had some of the worst bounces this year. Today again one wedge bounced over the first green, hit something and jumped out. The same thing happened on five. He’s absolutely striping the ball. Just a couple breaks and he’s had a completely different season.”
Ethan Simpson, Evan Simpson and Parker Short also competed for the Bears. Ethan Simpson tied for fourth with a 43. Evan Simpson shot a 55 and Parker Short finished with a 57.
“Ethan and Evan Simpson played great tonight as well. I see them hit the ball and I have to remind myself they’ve only been playing competition golf for a little over a year. They will both be a necessity going forward for this program to keep this run of success going after this year,” Lewis said. “Parker was just teeing it up for his second match and his first varsity action tonight. I told him just to enjoy the experience, learn how things worked, and just keep playing. He has improved a ton since last year. He started out a little tough but as soon as he settled in he played much better.”