Wesley Hanson had a feeling that this could be a special year for the FPD golf team.
The Vikings were coming off of a second-place finish in the GHSA Class 1A private school tournament in 2016, and the goal for 2017 was to bring home a state championship.
But the Vikings had to overcome one huge hurdle, and that was getting past a Brookstone team that had won six of the past seven championships.
FPD got a great chance for boost heading into the state championship tournament, hooking up with Brookstone in the area championships at Healy Point Country Club. Led by Hanson’s 2-under-par 70, the Vikings beat Brookstone by 14 strokes.
“That was a huge confidence-builder for our golf team,” said Hanson, The Telegraph’s All-Middle Georgia Boys Golfer of the Year for the second straight year.
The state championship tournament was held at Green Island Country Club in Columbus, which is Brookstone’s home course. To make matters worse, the weather was terrible, and the teams had to endure weather delays throughout the tournament.
But FPD played strong throughout, and the big four of Hanson, Luke Dasher, Wilson Andress and Jay Spivey led Brookstone by nine strokes after the first day. When the second round was canceled due to more bad weather, FPD had its state championship.
“This year, it was one common goal for our team, and that was to win state,” Hanson said. “It was very important for us to have the chemistry we did, and every one of us wanted the other guys to play well. I mean, Luke Dasher is a freshman, and he shot a 70 at the state championships, and I was just happy he was on my team.
“That’s how all of us felt this year. If one of us didn’t play well, the next guy would pick him up.”
Hanson embraced his role of being a leader on the team. Spivey is a sophomore and Andress is a junior.
“I always wanted to go out and put a low number down because I am the old guy on the team, and I wanted to be the leader,” Hanson said. “But it was more than that this year. It was about reaching out to each other when one of us was going out to eat after practice and having a movie night and things like that. It kept us all focused on our common goal.”
Hanson had several offers to play college golf, but found his home when he visited Valdosta State.
“I felt like it was the perfect fit for me, and the most important thing was that I feel like I would go there if I was just a student and not a golfer,” Hanson said. “They have a very strong golf program, and I am just excited to see how much I can improve.”
Previous All-Middle Georgia selections this spring
All-Middle Georgia boys golf team
Golfer of the Year: Wesley Hanson, FPD
Wilson Andress, FPD, junior
Andress averaged 37.66 strokes per nine holes, finishing fourth in Area 1-1A private play and fifth at Class 1A private state.
Luke Dasher, FPD, freshman
Dasher finished second at the Class 1A private school championship with an 18-hole round of 70. He was second to Hanson in Area 1-1A private competition, and his nine-hole scoring average came within a tenth of a stroke of Hanson.
Brent Hamm, Houston County, junior
Hamm finished second at the GHSA Class 6A championship with a 36-hole score of 141. He was medalist at the Area 1-6A tournament, and his nine-hole scoring average falls right in line with FPD’s foursome.
Wesley Hanson, FPD, senior
Hanson had the lowest scoring average (37.33) on a team that won the GHSA Class 1A private school championship. He claimed medalist honors in Area 1-1A private competition and finished eighth at state with an 18-hole score of 73.
Wil Hernandez, Upson-Lee, senior
Hernandez shot a fifth-place 75 at the Area 1-4A tournament, following up with a 73 and an 11th-place finish at the Class 4A tournament.
Jay Spivey, FPD, sophomore
Spivey averaged 37.37 shots per nine holes, shooting 74s in both Area 1-1A private and Class 1A private competition. He tied for fourth in area play and finished 12th at state.
All-Middle Georgia schedule
A look at the schedule for All-Middle Georgia teams to be released with the days the results will be posted on Macon.com and in The Telegraph:
June 15/16: Girls tennis
June 16/17: Boys tennis
June 17/18: Scholar-Athlete of the Year
June 18/19: Girls track
June 19/20: Boys track
June 20/21: Girls soccer
June 21/22: Boys soccer
June 22/23: Baseball
June 23/24: Girls Athlete of the Year
June 24/25: Boys Athlete of the Year