The Final Chapter of the Golf Season for Benton Academy

Our season didn’t end, although I was expecting it to, with the North State Tournament as we came in 2nd for our class / category of school.  That enabled us to go to the State Tournament a week later which ironically was also played outside of Mississippi.  It was held at Frenchman’s Bend in Monroe, LA, a 2 ½ hour drive from Benton.

As it so happened, the school’s athletic banquet was being held the day before the golf event so it was not possible to take advantage of playing a practice round the day before the tournament.  Right after the banquet we drove over to Monroe so as to be as fresh as possible for the golf event. That put our players at a disadvantage even before the first drive was hit.

It was a beautiful day so my advice to the players was to simply enjoy themselves at the event and not get discouraged if they didn’t play well. They had earned their way to playing golf in the first State tournament in almost 10 years for the school.

I am proud to say that two of our six players did score in the 80’s for the 18 hole event, which under the circumstances was very good.

They all learned a lot and as the saying goes, “There is always next year.”


Andrew aka Andy Has Some Good News

Married life on the West Coast is treating our older son quite well.  He has been in the upper end of the residential home construction business while in Colorado and now in California.  When he and his bride to be at the time, now his wife, decided where to live in north central CA, Andy started to call construction businesses during his lunch time in the Monterey area and connected with the owner of a business who was an avid skier. After talking about skiing for quite a while they talked about job prospects and he ended up offering Andy a job over the phone once he had looked at Andy’s resume.

Now, just about two plus years with the firm, they have made him a superintendent of a building project that will take about 1 ½ years to complete. Here is a link to their website and the bio that have posted about Andrew:

He has worked hard to prove himself and it is wonderful to see it rewarded.

Oh, Oh: I need to change the name of my blog and my calling card!

With the passing of Hugh Leigh, his wife decided that she can only mange so many cows, plus many of the cows on the Graball Freerun farm are quite old and need to be sold while they can be (my oldest cow died this past November of natural causes after birthing a calf). Consequently I will be following suit as that is where my cows and my half of the bull are located.  In other words, I will be a retired cattle farmer!

The blog name is easy as I can squeeze in retired in the title but the calling card presents various options.  I sometimes feel like Jim Rockford of the Rockford Files, who had a small device to make business cards in his glove compartment so he could crank out a card to suit the occasion.  Now with computers and printers I have a couple to suit the occasion myself: cattle farmer, EMC member (the English Motoring Club of Mississippi, don’t you know), Board member of the Boy’s & Girl’s Club of Yazoo City, etc.

Decisions, decisions.

Is it too early for Iced Corn?

Now that normal temperatures have returned to Mississippi for the remaining Spring season, Pat is worried about her new chicks overheating in their coop.  The answer was supplied in You Tube video for new chicken farmers – Iced Corn.

Ice Corn for Chickens?

Once frozen they are popped out and stored in zip lock bags for use on hot days.  As we are already at 100° plus days, she tried them out recently.

Winter or Summer?

Lots of concentration but I think they are confused as to what to do with it.

22 Years Later, Pat Gets Her Chickens

When we moved to New Hampshire 22 years ago Pat started talking about raising chickens.  She has been wanting to get them on and off ever since.  Three weeks ago she actually got them!

While she knew of places to get the chicks, first of all you need to have a coop for them.  Off we went to TSS (Tractor Supply Store for you city folks that don’t have one in your local mall).  There we were able to buy a store model all ready assembled as the timing for having chicks was almost over at that time.  The first adventure was getting the coop from Canton back to Benton in the back of “Big Red”, my Nissan truck.  This made me realize why folks get extended bed trucks as it took some doing to keep the coop in the truck on the way home.

But we got there in one piece. Next was where to put it.  I suggested next to the pig crib as that gets a fair amount of shade each day.


It looks right at home.

Pat's New Coop

Now the chicks are a little too young, at 3 weeks old, to be in the new home so they reside most of the day in our ½ bathroom on the first floor.  They have already outlasted the prediction of Pat’s brother-in-law that they chicks wouldn’t last two weeks!

I will finish this post with the Mother’s Day gift of chicken socks being worn in the coop during some quality time with and for the chicks where you can see one of the chicks looking at his new mom.

Chicken Socks




One of those “I don’t know how it happened but I am glad it did” events.

As I wrote about in my last post, Benton Academy’s golf team earned the right to go to the  next qualifying tournament towards becoming State champion for private schools.  This Monday they played in the North State tournament and while they certainly met my expectations for playing in a playoff for the first time of any of the players, actually came in as one of the two Runner Ups and came home with a trophy!

BA North State 2nd Runner Up Team


The course, Marion Golf & Athletic Club in West Memphis, AR (yes West Memphis is across the Mississippi River and thus is in Arkansas) has the intimidating name “The Monster” due to the amount of holes with water that are in play even around the greens.  Apparently we weren’t as intimidated as much as other teams which is how we came in second for our class of schools.  Our best player that day shot an 83 on a course he had never played, which is quite an accomplishment.  Our other players all shot in 90’s which would have made me happy if it had been me playing the course for the first time (which  I call a practice round).

Unbelievably, now we are off to the final tournament this coming Tuesday.

Stay tuned for the outcome.

“Coach” Clay and team head to Memphis!

As the third year of my coaching the Benton Academy golf team started I wasn’t sure what to expect as the weather held off having practices or matches and once baseball season starts that is a priority for a number of players on the team.  The good news was that 3 seventh graders showed strong interest but they needed lessons in how to play the game.

The weather continued to be troublesome and so we had a slow start to the season.  It is a short season as you can’t start having matches until March 1 and then it finishes at the end of April so the “State” tournaments can be held the first week of May.

We were making progress towards the team score of the best 4 scores getting down to 350 but were still 26 strokes away from getting to that or under when we went off to the last match of the regular season. Single individuals can qualify by scoring 85 or better but none of the players had done that so far. Fortunately for us we were having the last match against Humphreys Academy that plays at the Humphreys County Golf Course which is down on the delta and so flat with fairly wide fairways.

Virtually every player on both teams were on fire that day and as the final results of the day show, both teams qualified to advance to the semi-final tournament known as the North State. It is being held in West Memphis, which is actually in Arkansas at the Marion Golf & Athletic Club on Monday, April 30th.  It has been a number of years, I believe 10, since a Benton Academy golf team has gone to the States.

BA Qualifying Scorecard for North StateMiddleton and Saxton Have a Good Hole

And here are two happy golfers on a par 4 where one player is retrieving his birdie putt and the other got his par.