Kelley Shoots Double Eagle

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As a varsity starter on last year's Longhorn golf team that won the Class 3A Arizona state championship, sophomore Brandan Kelley has had more than his share of links excitement.

But last week, he tacked a thrill onto his promising career that won't soon be forgotten.

On the par 5, 465-yard hole No. 1 at Payson Golf Course, the teenager chalked up his first ever double eagle. His rare feat began when his tee-shot left him about 165 yards shy of the hole. Then, using an 8-iron, Kelley dead-eyed his next shot into the cup to card a 2 on the par-5 hole.

Although he's young, his career includes a lot of playing time on the high school and Phoenix PGA junior circuit.

What's this?

While surfing a White Mountain-area based website that includes a"Smack Board" often used to criticize and critique high school football players and coaches without much firsthand knowledge of the sport, I came across an entry entitled "Prayer of a Sportsman."

That caught me by surprise, since it's not the kind of stuff that's usually posted on the Smack Board.

The prayer read:

Dear Lord, in the battle that goes on through life

I ask but a field that is fair,

A chance that is equal with all in the strife,

A courage to strive and to dare;

And if I should win, let it be by the code

with my faith and my honor held high;

And if I should lose, let me stand by the road,

And cheer as the winners go by.

And Lord, may my shouts be ungrudging and clear,

A tribute that comes from the heart,

And let me not cherish a snarl or a sneer

Or play a sniveling part;

Let me say, "There they ride, on whom laurels bestowed

Since they played the game better than I."

Let me stand with a smile by the side of the road,

And cheer as the winners go by.

So grant me to conquer, if conquer I can,

By proving my worth in the fray,

But teach me to lose like a regular man,

And not like a craven, I pray;

Let me take off my hat to the warriors who strode

To victory splendid and high,

Yea, teach me to stand by the side of the road

And cheer as the winners go by.

A day after the prayer was posted, a visitor to the Smack Board probably all too familiar with the sordid discourse that sometimes is posted on it wrote "Some people obviously aren't taking to this whole Smack Board idea."

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