My proudest moment coaching in my life happened in May 1999, that was when my Anamosa High School Boys Golf Team won the 2A State Championship. The six golfers that made up this team were: Sean Smith, Bret McNamara, Scott Nemmers, Dan Miller, Mike Neville and Brian Neville.
These men invited me out to Wapsipinicon Country Club for our 20th anniversary of our state championship on May 25. This was really special since it was held right after the Doug McNamara Memorial Golf Tournament. My grandfather, Sheriff Ralph Albaugh, and Doug got me interested in golf back in the 70s.
One of the stories I told my team is when I was in high school and working at Tyler & Downing, Doug (age 25) asked me if I would like to caddy for him in the city tournament. I said “sure.”
I can still remember walking up the fairway to hole No. 9 at Fawn Creek minutes before Doug won the city tournament. It seemed like hundreds of people were there waiting for the final. That moment has lasted a lifetime for me.
Three of the most influential men in my life growing up were Clete and Doug McNamara and Buddy Downing. The values these men instilled in me working at T & D are priceless.
Twenty years later, I was the golf coach for Anamosa, and I tried to instill these same values in my team. Doug’s son Bret was on our team. He witnessed his son and teammates win the state title in 1999 at Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City.
Six years after winning state, my second son was born. I wanted to honor my golf team in some way, so we decided to name our son after our number one and two golfers Sean Smith and Mike Neville, Sean Michel. Next year, he will be a freshman at Anamosa High School. The highest honor is to have someone or something named after you.
Men, thanks for the memories, this is another moment that will last a lifetime for me. See you next year at Doug’s tournament.