Exactly one week ago today, the Center Grove boys golf team wrapped up its season.
But for Trojans head coach Jim Williams, the end of the season doesn’t mean his work is finished.
In many ways, it’s only beginning.
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Williams also is the head coach of Center Grove’s girls golf team. Players are working out and practicing now, and have been since the end of the school year.
They’ve just been doing it without Williams, who for the third straight year guided the boys to the IHSAA Boys Golf State Finals.
As has become the norm, the Trojans’ lengthy postseason runs have provide Williams with no coaching break.
“I could use an extra couple of weeks,” Williams said, laughing.
If Williams were to ever get an extra couple of weeks between the boys and girls seasons, he would spend much of it fishing. But he doesn’t get that chance.
He just wrapped up his third season as the boys head coach. The Trojans have gone to the state meet all three years.
Had they not, he might have had some time for fishing. But since they did, coaching golf has become a virtual nonstop occupation from the start of the boys season in April to the conclusion of the girls season in early October.
That’s because Williams has led the girls to the state finals two straight seasons, which also interrupts another of his favorite leisure activities: deer hunting.
The firearms season coincides with the girls state meet, so Williams and his assistant coach and hunting partner, Jeff Buckmaster, have missed the past two.
“We just look forward to going bowhunting,” Williams said.
If it sounds like Williams is complaining, he isn’t. Coaching golf is one of his passions, and his teams have the success to prove it.
During his 12 seasons with the girls team, the program has evolved into one of the state’s best.
Same for the boys under his three-year guidance.
The past two seasons, the Trojans have been ranked No. 1 heading into the boys state finals. They were runners-up in 2015 and finished third last week on a rain-soaked course at Prairie View Golf Club, the home course of eventual state champion Westfield.
“The season as a whole, you had to say it was successful,” Williams said. “We just ran into a buzzsaw. Westfield, that’s their stomping grounds. They know that place pretty well.
“Boy, they just executed and played great golf there, especially that first round.”
Now, Williams turns his attention to the girls season — something he would have done a few weeks ago had the boys season ended at the sectional.
His goal for the girls is the same as the boys: make another run at state.
Center Grove finished sixth last year and was 10th in 2014.
“Several of the (girls) came out to the (boys) state finals, so I got a chance to talk to them out there,” Williams said. “They’ve been texting with me and kind of keeping me updated as to what they’re doing.
“The whole goal is to get back to state again. They’re pushing themselves and working at it, so hopefully it will come to fruition.”
Center Grove lost four players, including No. 1 player Sydney Abbott, to graduation from last year’s team. But it returns four seniors, including standouts Shelby Schier and Hannah Wilson, along with four juniors.
Depth keyed the boys run to Prairie View, and Williams is confident it will do the same for the girls, whose season begins the first week of August.
So what if he doesn’t get a coaching break and might again miss firearms season?
“I tell you what, you start looking forward to it, that’s for sure,” Williams said of the golf seasons. “Our goal is to go back out to Prairie View.
“That’s the girls goal.”
Name: Jim Williams
Coaches: Center Grove High School boys and girls varsity golf teams; Center Grove Middle School Central eighth-grade basketball
Teaches: English at Center Grove
Years coaching: 37
College: IUPUI (1995)
Family: Wife, Amy; children, Jackson and Molly
Favorite thing about coaching: Practices and strategy
Best golf score: 1 under par (“Years ago,” he said.)
Favorite golfer: Jack Nicklaus