Hanceville, AL — Wallace State Men’s and Women’s Golf teams are gearing up for appearances at their respective national tournaments in the coming weeks.
Coming off conference and regional victories, the women’s team will compete in the 2023 NJCAA Division 1 Women’s Golf Championship May 9-12 in Garden City, Kansas. Led by freshman Aidan Haithcock, the team earned its sixth consecutive Alabama Community College Conference title and a National Junior College Athletic Association District titles leading up to the nationals.
Statistically, the team is ranked 12th in the nation, with Haithcock, of Hoover, ranked 31st in the nation.
Coach J.J. Adams was named South District Coach of the Year in Women’s Golf District I and ACCC Women’s Golf Coach of the Year for the fifth time, titles he has held every year since he started at Wallace State.
He guided the Lions to their sixth consecutive conference tournament title in 2023. Under Adams, Wallace State won all 2023 spring tournaments prior to nationals. At the ACCC Tournament, the Lady Lions won the event by 13 strokes.
Adams is looking forward to the nationals in Kansas.
“We’ve never played there, so it will be interesting,” he said. “I think it’s going to be good competition.”
Adams was an assistant coach for Wallace State’s men’s and women’s teams for one season, prior to inheriting the women’s program. Adams previously owned Pro Golf of Cullman for nearly 20 years, and is himself a Wallace State golf alum, having played for the Lions and NJCAA Hall of Fame coach Dan York from 1988-1990. He serves as a golf pro at Cross Creek Golf Course in Cullman. Adams finished his collegiate career, lettering at UNA.
Men’s Golf heading to nationals in Kansas
Ranked 13th nationally, the men’s team finished third at the NJCAA Southern District tournament at Viera East Golf Club in Melbourne, Fla. Sophomore Zackery Coker of Gulf Shores finished runner-up for the Southeast District Championship.
They will head to the NJCAA National Tournament May 16-19 at Sand Creek Station in Newton, Kansas. This will mark their 27th appearance in the national tournament.
“Our fall season was great. We had three wins out of five events,” said Coach Sylas Elliott. “Our spring got off to a slow start, but we have started to find ourselves back in contention to win in the last few events. I think if the guys can put it all together one last time to end the year, we might shock some people.”
In his fourth year as head coach, Elliott has directed Wallace State to consecutive NJCAA Division I National Championship appearances. Elliott, who was interim coach during the 2018-2019 season and learned and played under the late Dan York, has already produced a pair of NJCAA Division I All-Americans (Connor Bruce and Carter Goodwin) at Wallace State. A former Lion, Elliott earned 1st-team NJCAA PING All-American honors as a sophomore at WSCC and was a 2016 Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year semifinalist. He went on to play at South Alabama, graduating with a degree in interdisciplinary studies.