Cathedral golfers move on to next course

Published 12:11 am Tuesday, August 2, 2011

NATCHEZ — When two longtime golfing buddies graduated from Cathedral School this spring, they left behind two decorated careers and countless memories they shared on the course.

Steve Scarborough and Avery Middleton anchored the Cathedral School golf team as the team’s top two players for four seasons. They also led the team to five district championships, the 2010 state championship and finished runner-up this past season.

“We won five districts, and that was cool,” Scarborough said. “We always played well at district, and I’m glad we won state. We got pressure, kind of joking, that to be one of the good golf teams at Cathedral you have to win state and we did it.”

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The two golfers shared one more honor this summer when they were both announced as All-State golfers for the 2011 season.

Middleton said the honor is one of the special moments in his individual golf career.

“Last year I finished third overall in the state tournament,” he said. “This year my coach (Kurt Russ) texted me about a week ago and told me I made the all-state golf team, and those were pretty special.”

Both players’ careers started at a young age, even before they were members of the Green Wave golf team.

“I probably started in fifth grade,” Scarborough said. “My dad (Bruce Scarborough) has been a member at Beau Pré ever since it started, and I would go out with him. I could only tee-off on holes that didn’t have a ditch in front of it, because I would lose the ball.”

Beau Pré saw several of Scarborough’s most successful moments later in his career, however.

“In ninth grade, in district at Beau Pré was the first time I ever broke 80,” Scarborough said. “I birdied 18, and that was really exciting.”

Cathedral also won the 2010 state championship at Beau Pré, and Scarborough credited some of the win to the team’s familiarity with the course.

“(Winning state) was kind of a surprise,” he said. “We played St. Aloysius earlier in the year and they beat us by 34 and 35. Then at Beau Pré it’s hard if you haven’t played it that much, and we were used to it, so they kind of couldn’t handle it, and we won by like six. That’s like the closest you can win a golf tournament by with four-man teams.”

Middleton’s career started with the Scarboroughs at Beau Pré, as well.

“I probably started when I was about 11 years old,” Middleton said. “I played with Steve and my dad a little bit, but mostly me, Steve and Steve’s dad.

“I just started playing and fell in love with it. I played baseball up until seventh grade year and got burned out. Golf was a new challenge, and I love it.”

Scarborough started playing for the Green Wave golf team when he was in seventh-grade. That Cathedral team won the state title as well, but Scarborough said he did not have much to do with that championship.

“In seventh grade I only played in one tournament and shot 102,” he said. “(The team) was good, they won state, so I was on two state winning teams. But I don’t really count the first one, because I didn’t have much to do with it.”

Middleton joined the Cathedral team the next season, and in the two players’ ninth-grade season they became the top two players on the team.

Middleton capped off his career by winning the individual district title his senior year.

Both former Green Wave golfers are now headed to Mississippi State to start their college careers. Neither one will be playing for the Bulldogs’ golf team this season, but both still have a desire to stay involved with the game they love.

Scarborough is studying for a career in golf as part of Mississippi State’s Professional Golf Management program.

“It’s a marketing degree with a concentration on professional golf. I’m looking to make a career out of golf,” Scarborough said.

Middleton said he is majoring in real estate finance, but he may take a stab at making the Bulldogs’ golf team down the road.

“If I keep practicing, I’ll definitely try out for MSU’s golf team,” he said.

Both players had offers to play golf at Copiah-Lincoln Wesson, but dreamed of going to school at MSU, they said.

Middleton and Scarborough also made golfing pilgrimages together, living the dream of many golfing fans by going to see The Masters and the 2011 U.S. Open.

The two teens, who have been friends since fourth grade, both said they would miss playing on the Cathedral golf team.

“I’ll miss just getting to go out and practice and play every day after school,” Middleton said. “And just playing with Steve and getting to play in a bunch of tournaments all the time.”

Scarborough said he felt a void this season after the state tournament.

“Every year after the season ended I would start looking forward to next season each year, and this year it was different,” he said.