Moffat County golfers drive into spotlight

LIfe on the fairway - from seven from seven iron to state play

Golf started for Jarrod Aragon more than a decade ago, when he accompanied his father on Sunday trips to the golf course. The only club that Aragon

swung was the one his father fashioned for him a cut-off seven iron.

"I used to go out with him on Sunday's, then he started buying me passes when

he saw I liked the game, now I work out there. Its kind of been a progression," Aragon said.

Aragon, a 82.4 stroke golfer, is a veteran of Moffat County's High School's

golf circuit, having played since he was a freshman and improving every

year.

Now a senior, Aragon feels he played his best the year he was a junior, even though he didn't make it to state. His last season as a MCHS golfer was marked with ups and downs for the young linkster, hitting a mid-season slump which might have ruined his chances for state had it continued.

"It was so discouraging not to play well, and it made me mad, so I'd go out

and practice," Aragon said. "If you go out and hit the same shot over and

over, you'll gradually get better."

With dedication to keeping his game on an even keel, Aragon was able to regain his shot, and go into the September regionals playing his average. Regionals held another moment of adversity for the golfer.

Finishing early in regionals, Aragon carefully watched the scores roll in,

and realized he was tied with six other individuals for the tenth spot. The winner was figured by a single hold shoot-out.

"Since I finished early, I got out to the range and hit some balls, that

really helped to calm down my shot," Aragon said. When the shoot-out commenced, and Aragon stepped up to the tee, his hands

were shaking so badly that Coach Ken Harjes didn't know if Aragon would be able to hit the ball.

"I've never seen some one shake like that," Harjes said.

But Aragon was able to hit the ball and make par on the hole to take tenth place and earn a trip to state.

"I sunk the longest six-foot putt in my life to win the shoot-off," Aragon

said. "Mr. Harjes was in the background yelling because he was so happy I

sank the shot. It was a rush."

Jarrod has found a calling in the sport of golf, particularly teaching the sport. Each year he volunteers at the four camps put on by the Yampa Valley Golf Course for junior golfers, and has dedicated him elf to the betterment of the younger players at Moffat County High.

"C.J. [Rugh, a fellow MCHS golfer] and I have watched over the younger guys in the program, and tried to help them develop their game. We just want them to do well in their junior and senior years," Aragon said.

This calling may lead to a life of golf for Aragon, though he doesn't quite

know yet. The senior is still debating whether to attend a golf pro school in San Diego, Calif. The two-year program teaches everything that deals

with running a golf course or county club, business management, golf

techniques and how to keep the greens their greenest.

"I'm still off and on about it," Aragon said. "I went into this year sure

that's what I wanted to do, now I just can't make up my mind."

Whether as a pro or a club member, any course will be lucky to have

Aragon around.

"He's just a quality kid, polite, fun, and shoots a good game of golf,"

Harjes said.

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