State Gazette Female Golfer of the Year: Dyer County Lady Choctaw Kennedy Hill

Sunday, June 9, 2024

JASON PEEVYHOUSE

jpeevyhouse@stategazette.com

Following a season which saw its end just a few strokes away from qualifying for the TSSAA Class AA State Tournament, Dyer County sophomore golfer Kennedy Hill has been named the State Gazette Female Golfer of the Year for the 2023-24 school year.

Dyer County Head Coach Eddie Sims admitted he could talk about the type of person and player Hill is all day long.

“She had a great season,” Sims said looking back to the fall of 2023. “She pretty much led the team and was the low scorer pretty much through the whole season.”

Hill was able to advance from the District 14AA Tournament to the Region 7AA Tournament for the second straight season.

“Man, she was right there close to making the cutoff line to reaching the state tournament,” Sims explained. “She just had a great season and was right there with an opportunity to advance to the state tournament.”

Sims added he is expecting the same kind of outcome this upcoming fall. This is helped by the improvements she made to her game as a sophomore.

“Probably the biggest improvements she made to her game was to her long game,” the Dyer County head coach explained. “She was able to get off the box a little more consistently and with her longer irons.

“She’s always had a really good short game but she did improve in her short game. But, every year, I think they get better and better and better.”

Keep in mind, Hill is a three-sport athlete and two of those sports are running simultaneously.

“You can look up and she will be at volleyball practice while we’re practicing but, before it’s all said and done, she’s at The Farms at the driving range or the putting green every time you turn around,” Sims pointed out.

There are things that don’t show up on the scorecard which help her succeed. Her poise, for instance.

“Her ability to not let a bad shot get to her and effect her round,” Sims explained. “She cares, she’s very passionate and she’s a very competitive person, but she is a kid that does not let one bad shot control her round.

“She’s got a lot of composure as a young golfer.”

Hill is part of a sophomore trio which also includes Lily Flagg and Josie Ferguson which is the foundation of the Lady Choctaw golf program.

“It’s just unheard of, especially in the girls, to have three quality girls,” the Dyer County head coach pointed out. “Over the years I have coached, we might have one or two. But I don’t know in the history of Dyer County’s golf team, I do not know that we have had three really good competitive golfers for girls ever at the same time.

“I know we’ve always had a few good ones. But, to have three where you have a chance to advance past the district every year we step on the course, it’s huge.”

Moving into her junior year this fall, Sims sees more success on the horizon for Hill.

“I think she is going to make that next step and advance to the state tournament this year,” Sims said. “I am kind of anticipating that because I saw the disappointment she had last year when she didn’t qualify. I have seen her all summer, all spring, and all winter go to the driving range when she has time.

“She’s a three-sport athlete. That’s another thing that is impressive about her. She spreads herself so thin but she is just so good at the time.”

Sims also praised Hill for her efforts in the classroom.

“Another great thing about her is she’s a great student,” Sims said. “I’m lucky all three of my girls are great students. I don’t have to worry about them and most of my kids are usually that way.

“You don’t have to worry about them in the classroom and that’s huge to me.”

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