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EMCC golf opens first season in three years under first year head coach, Ashton Maddaloni, on Saturday

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 10:34 PM CDT
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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WTOK) - On Saturday East Mississippi Community College’s men’s golf team will open their season for the first time in three years. But it will also be the debut of their new head coach Ashton Maddaloni who will start her first year as a head coach.

Maddaloni said, “I really want to look back at my time here and say I really started the successful program that EMCC is going to be.”

Although it is the first year for the program the team is thankful they get to compete. The players range in skill level but most of them are just excited to take the next step in their career.

Payton Chandler, EMCC golfer, said, “I think it was a great idea to bring it [EMCC golf team] back up. It made a big impact on the school to see a new sport come back up in the school. And just made and impact on a couple other peoples lives that ain’t able to play other sports that want to come out here and play golf, [the] importance on golf and how fun it is.”

EMCC golfer practicing for opening weekend of team debut.
EMCC golfer practicing for opening weekend of team debut.(WTOK Sports)

Now when coach Maddaloni was first offered the job she was nervous to accept it because she had no idea how the team would react to a woman coming in to coach the men’s team. But former Meridian Community College coach Lou Hart gave Maddaloni the inspiration she needed.

Days after she was hired she was at the Northwood Country Club when the Lou Hart Memorial Trophy was revealed. Knowing that Hart had coached a men’s golf team at MCC it gave her a boost of courage.

“I feel like this was meant for me to take this job,” Maddaloni said. “I think it was meant to be and it gave me a lot of encouragement, and I was like maybe if she can do it, I can too.”

While it seemed like it was a huge leap of faith at the time Maddaloni and the team are working together perfectly.

Chandler said, “She’s been such an important factor on our team. She’s really helped us out on our goals and stuff. And what we need to fix in order to improve our golf game.”

“She’s helped us so much on out short game,” Matthew Philips, EMCC golfer, said. “She helped me off the tee-box. There’s just no where to go but up.”

Thomas Jackson, EMCC golfer said, “She definitely knows what she is talking about. She’s played about 5-6 years now so she knows what she is talking about and it’s helped us a lot.”

The Lions and Maddaloni will head to Raymond, MS on Saturday to compete at Eagle Ridge Golf Course when Hinds hosts their first tournament of the year on Saturday and will continue in to Sunday.

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