The Phoenix staff made selections in three spring sports, naming the top athletes in both golf and track. Due to a limited number of competitors in the area in tennis, one athlete was chosen in that sport.
Wesley Jackson, Fort Gibson
Wesley Jackson has it in his blood, even though the Fort Gibson junior only realized a few years ago.
His brother Brandon took up the game competitively early in high school and Wesley would follow. Subsequently, it made for some heated competition.
“He was most influential on my golf game,” said Wesley, the Phoenix Male Golfer of the Year just four years after Brandon won it. “He took it up and I started it about the same time in junior high and we’d wind up competing against each other in the same tournaments.”
They were both state runners-up.
The younger Jackson shot a 10-under 206 over the 54 hole tourney earlier this month at Lake Hefner Golf Course in Oklahoma City and finished five shots off the lead set by Weatherford’s Quade Cummins. In that tournament was his season-low round of 66. He averaged 72 this season, winning five tournaments including the 4A regional in Miami.
Wesley says he’s overtaken his brother as the family’s best golfer, primarily due to the fact Brandon is playing baseball at Nicholls State. And, he’ll stick with golf as he plots a strategy aimed at overtaking Cummins, who is a sophomore.
“Everything from 100 yards in, my putting and chipping,” he said. “I need to have better consistency in those areas.”
Kailey Campbell, Oktaha
It’s hard to describe it this way, but Kailey Campbell’s worst place showing this year came at the Class 2A state tournament — third.
Not too shabby and besides that, Mother Nature became the equivalent of a sand trap with a sinkhole, denying the field a second and final round. Her 6-over 76 put her behind defending champion Katie Lee Wilson of Rejoice Christian and Macy Harrington of Hinton who carded rounds of 74 and 75 respectively. Campbell beat Wilson in regionals the week before, as she did on a couple other occasions.
“I’m one of those golfers who play better when I’m down, so it was disappointing not to get the chance,” she said.
Campbell, a state champion as a sophomore and a member of two state championship teams at Oktaha, won five tournaments and finished second in the other one this year. The 2013 All-Stater will take her talents to Oklahoma City University, an NAIA power, and pursue a nursing degree there as well.
“I’ll miss Oktaha. It’s been a good run here,” she said. “I’m going to be going to quite a program and some big-city living so it’s going to be a change for sure.”