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Greenbrier's Fort pulls off amazing feat

Meet-and-greet to be held at Greenbrier

Posted: April 2, 2014 - 12:06am

For the average golfer, the numbers are similar. The odds of making a hole-in-one are 13,000-to-1, compared to nearly 6 million-to-1 for a double eagle. In an average year there are approximately 40,000 aces, and just a couple of hundred double eagles.

I think you get my point. You could be a terrific golfer, live several lifetimes, and play golf every day, and you will likely never make a double eagle. That is why, when I heard Greenbrier sophomore States Fort made a double eagle in November, I was amazed. He knocked in his second shot with a 5-iron from 178 yards on the 450-yard Par 5, fifth hole at Rocky Branch Golf Course in Lincolnton.

That alone was news worthy, but for States, apparently one was not enough, because this weekend he did it again. That’s right a second double eagle in a span of a little over four months. This time he was on Rocky Branch’s 15th hole, a 485 yard par 5 that was playing into a stiff wind. After his drive, States was 235 yards out and hitting straight into the wind. He flushed a 3-wood and thought he had hit it over the green. However, as he approached the green a group playing a nearby hole, that saw the ball go in, informed him that his ball was at the bottom of the cup. There were only two double eagles on the PGA Tour during the entire 2013 season, and States Fort gets two in four and a half months. What are the odds? I have no idea, but if he were a little older I would encourage him to buy some lottery tickets.

Fort is one of the top players on a Greenbrier team that should challenge for a state title. He recently earned All-Tournament honors at the Georgia/South Carolina Cup. The event featured 18 of the top golf programs in the two states, and Fort helped lead Greenbrier to a fourth-place finish (second among Georgia teams). He also helped the squad win the Gwinnett Open earlier this year. Fort is ranked No. 45 in Georgia in the junior golf scoreboard rankings and still has two more high school seasons.

Meet-and-greet to be held at Greenbrier

Jarrett Troxler’s decision to leave Lakeside to take over the football program at Greenbrier turned plenty of heads and has been a hot topic around the state. The decision was made based on the challenge of turning around a program and family. Troxler came to Lakeside with Jody Grooms and must share the recent success at Lakeside with his mentor.

Although they are great friends, Greenbrier gave the highly competitive Troxler a chance to really put his stamp on a program. In four seasons, Troxler’s teams dominated other county schools 11-1 and outscoring by 292-87. Lakeside advanced to the state playoffs each of the past three seasons. More important was the complete culture change at Lakeside. Troxler’s attitude permeated the school, the other sports programs, the booster club and the students.

It was almost the exact opposite at Greenbrier. The team struggled in 2013, going 0-10. It was outscored 428-56. They lost their 10 games by an average of 37.2 points a game (including a 56-0 loss to Lakeside). There was no excitement about the program. They dressed fewer players than most teams in the state in Class AAAAA.

Some of the top athletes in the school chose to not play football the past couple of seasons.

This is not all the fault of former head coach Kevin Hunt. Hunt is well-liked by virtually everyone who knows him.

However, for whatever reason, the program had gone downhill and was sinking even lower. A change needed to happen and credit Greenbrier’s administration for aiming high. Who would have thought coach Troxler would leave when he had a loaded squad returning next year, a team that included one of the top recruits in America and 3-4 Division I players? I know I was a little surprised.

However, in talking to coach Troxler, while this decision was extremely difficult, it was one he felt strongly about making. In addition to be attempting to turn around a struggling program, he also thought about his family. They live only about 4 miles from Greenbrier, and he and his wife liked the idea of raising their boys in that area.

Football fans in Columbia County should be thanking their lucky stars that the Troxlers like our area so much, because he was likely to be considered for every job that opened in Georgia for the next few years.

He could have easily jumped ship for more money, or to a school that put a higher priority on sports, but he chose Columbia County.

Troxler has left the program in tremendous shape, and they should have no trouble finding a great coach. Now that Lakeside and the school board have seen what he did for the program and community, I hope they will make sure to bring in a coach who will continue what Grooms and Troxler built.

Greenbrier parents and players who would like to meet coach Troxler will get a chance Thursday night at 6:30 in the cafeteria at Greenbrier High. Food will be provided, and anyone interested in the Greenbrier football program is invited to attend.

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