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AOTW: Eagles golfer qualifies for state tourney

COVINGTON, Ga. — In the sectionals tournament on May 2, the Eastside Golf team had one individual qualify for state. And that was Sam Harper who placed in the top four of the low individual competition. 

According to Harper, qualifying for state was his goal as a high school golfer. 

“It feels amazing going to state,” Harper said. “To have everything starting to click at the right time comes with great satisfaction.”

Harper, a junior at Eastside, has played golf now for four years and said it is “by far” his favorite sport. He said it was the most relaxing time of day when he’s casually playing or competing. 

Even so, leading up to the sectionals tournament, Harper said he focused mainly on what he considered the “biggest factor in golf.” 

“Going into sectionals I prepared more on my mental game than anything,” Harper said.

“You can never give up on yourself and I had to plant that in my head.”

When May 2’s tournament was concluded, Harper recognized that qualifying for state wouldn’t have been possible with the support from his teammates and coaches. 

“My teammates are like my brothers and the coaches are great leaders,” Harper said. “We all have a very special bond together and give each other high respect. We all give each other respect on the team and everyone is always helping everyone.”

In addition to his spot on Eastside’s golf team, Harper is also a member of the Eagles’ Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter. Harper said he was interested in being a member thanks to his brother, former National FFA president Dos Harper, who was “really into it.” 

On Monday and Tuesday, Sam Harper was set to compete in the state tournament at Okefenokee Country Club in Waycross. 

Harper was excited for the opportunity he’s been working toward all season. 

“I think I’ve grown a lot this season,” he said. “I’ve really learned how to not overthink my situations and just go out and have fun.”