Waskom hasn’t had a golf team since 2010. In 2014, Aubrey Wells represented her school on the golf course. Now four years later, the program is back and will be represented by freshman Trent Higginbotham in the regional golf tournament Monday and Tuesday.
His dad, David Higginbotham, an assistant football coach and teacher and Waskom, coach his son as the school’s head golf coach.
“We had him (Trent) and a couple others who had played golf,” Davis said. “I talked to coach (Whitney) Keeling (Waskom athletic director) and told him, ‘I’d like to volunteer to be the golf coach.’ It’s another sport that we can add and try to build.’”
The older Higginbotham started golfing at age 21 and wanted his son to be able to get a jump start, so Trent started golfing at age 5.
“We started him in the first-tee program in Longview,” the coach explained. “We’ve been living here three years so he’s been out of it three years and he just started back up so he’s getting back into it.
“Before he was in first-tee, he always went with me and my uncle and hit,” David continued. “He was interested so I knew that was something we could together.”
So far, the two have created many memories on the golf course.
“When I was in the first-tee before I left, I hit a shot on their diving nine and it hit the flag pole and almost went in,” Trent recalls. “It landed about a foot from the hole.”
Golf has also taught both father and son valuable lessons that apply both on and off the course.
“Golf is kind of like basketball in that once you take a shot, you can’t have that shot back,” David said. “You’ve just got to move on and you can’t worry about what you just did. You’ve got to worry about what you’re fixing to do.”
“We do have S.T.A.R.,” Trent added. “That’s new. It’s, “stop, approach, think, respond. It can work for any sport and out of sports too.”
As his dad, David said he tries to treat Trent the same as the other golfers on his team.
“I think as a coach you’re always harder on your own kids because you want them to succeed and do really well but I also try to treat him the same way as everyone else and not treat him any different because he’s my son.”
Golf is a mental game but Trent doesn’t let that drag him down.
“I just ignore it,” he said. “I pay attention to different things like what animals are on the course.”
Maybe that’s what has helped him get to where he is today and improve throughout the season.
“Every tournament, his score has dropped, even as a team, we’ve dropped our team score by the strokes,” his dad said. “After the first tournament, we dropped our team score by 34 strokes. Then it went down five and couple more after that.
“I didn’t expect anybody to advance to regionals this year but it’s pretty exciting to coach my son,” David added. “When just starting a program, you set your expectations high but you want to be realistic also. The good thing about this group of kids that I had is they were all very positive after every tournament. Their goal was to get to try to make the regionals.”
Trent accomplished that goal and has made it his next goal to shoot below 100, something he’s confident he can do, as his best score this season was 83. Regardless of whether or not he’s able to accomplish that and whether or not he’s able to advance to the next round, Trent has accomplished a lot this season.
“He’s just a freshman,” David said. “Making regionals is a big deal but especially making it as a freshman. That’s one of those things you don’t see too often.”
He is slated to Tee off Monday at 9:28 a.m. at Oakhurst Golf Course in Bullard.