Boys golf squad’s support starts at home

As the five Center Grove golf team members get ready for their meet on Tuesday, one mother will reach for her favorite piece of jewelry.

Another will put on the pair of shoes she wears for every competition.

If the beginning of the match doesn’t go well, a different mother may take off her bracelet in hopes that it brings her son more luck for the rest of the round.

“We’re all superstitious,” team mom Diane Crowder said.

The Center Grove golf team wore khaki shorts during a recent match. At the end of the day, their scores were not as low as the team would like, so Crowder said they weren’t allowed to wear those shorts to the state finals Tuesday or Wednesday, she said. The team will play its the final tournament starting Tuesday at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel.

The five team mothers have bonded as much as their five sons have, now coordinating outfits to match the boys, putting up signs and sending group text messages to show support. The golf team members have played together for more than 10 years, with Zack Carrabine picking up a club at 3 years old, mother Stacy Carrabine said. Fellow senior Christopher Heck started playing at age 5, mother Margie Heck said.

“This is ultimately where we wanted to be, and here we are. This is it,” Margie Heck said. “Tuesday and Wednesday is the final step.”

When their sons got to the high school level, Stacy Carrabine wanted to do more for the golf team. Football or basketball can benefit from crazed fans, pep rallies and chartered buses to take students to games. Golf is less of a high school spectator sport and doesn’t get the same amount of recognition, she said.

“We’re going to change the face of what golf looks like for these athletes because they deserve more,” Stacy Carrabine said. “They deserve it. This is a time in their life where they’re in their prime.”

Carrabine made it her mission to start a senior night. Last year, they had the first. This season, the senior night was turned into a senior banquet with about 80 people crammed into a restaurant on State Road 135. The underclassmen each said one thing they learned from the seniors, a video montage was shown, and parents made poster boards for each senior.

“In the past, there wasn’t any of that,” Carrabine said.

But with the state championship coming up, the team moms are texting one another frequently to see how they can keep the players’ spirits up without making them overly confident. The moms will tie balloons in players’ yards, tack on signs to their hotel room door when they come back from a meet and even ask businesses to put a good luck message on their outdoor marquees.

Carrabine and her husband, Michael Carrabine, also run social media pages to post photos, updates and messages to other Center Grove fans during competitions. This season, the Carrabines started the hashtags #MakeEmBelieve and #WhyNotUs so students, parents and Center Grove school officials could rally their support.

“When (people) see them out and about, they can cheer them on,” Stacy Carrabine said.