Embroidered on the sleeves of the Greenbrier High School's golf team's shirts are the initials D.H. and S.W.
The letters are reminders of two young men unable to lead their team in their senior year.
Daniel Hall and Shane Williams died April 15, 2003, in a car crash while on their way to a school golf tournament in Lincoln County.
A year later, the loss still reverberates with a team both haunted and strengthened by memories of their fallen friends.
"Every time we step foot on a golf course, those two men are with us," Greenbrier golf coach Clint Woodfin said. "They're in our hearts and our minds. Every match that we play, they're right there with us."
Their spiritual presence was felt on Tuesday when the Wolfpack defeated Region 3-AAAA rivals Thomson 166-211 in a nine-hole match at The Club at Jones Creek.
Greenbrier's Chris Hall tees off on the second tee at The Club at Jones Creek on Tuesday.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Among the golfers who led Greenbrier to victory was 18-year-old senior Matthew Barman, who, along with his younger brother Michael, survived the crash that claimed the lives of Hall and Williams.
"I feel pretty good," Matthew said as he walked the cart path leading to the second green. "I miss Shane and Daniel. They're in the back of my mind, but when I'm on the course I haven't had any problems focusing on the game."
Tuesday's win was an important one for the 8-2 Pack as they get set for the region tournament on April 30 at Waynesboro Country Club.
Among the standout squads the 2001 region champs will face are Lakeside, Statesboro and Cross Creek, but Woodfin is less concerned about his competition than the course and his own players.
"It's important to see the competition, but a golfer's No. 1 opponent is the golf course," he said. "If not the golf course, then themselves.
"You're not necessarily competing against anyone else," he added. "You're competing against yourself."
Despite the psychological handicap the Wolfpack carries with them into each match, Woodfin believes his team look to the memories of Hall and Williams as a source of inspiration.
"We have 16 people on our golf team - JV, varsity and girls," he said. " We have nine varsity players, but I consider that we have 11. Daniel and Shane make up the 10th and 11th players on our roster. They're right there with us the entire time. Those boys know that."
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