Lincoln student is a winner on the golf course, in classroom

June 21, 2004|EMILY BURTON

A Lincoln County High School student is making waves on the golf course while getting a hole-in-one at school this year. Upcoming junior Taylor Hafley not only won a recent junior golf tournament in Lexington, he was also selected by school officials for the Hugh O'Brian Youth, or HOBY, Leadership Award.

This recognition brought with it a weekend seminar on leadership in Lexington, which Hafley attended this month.

"I wasn't real sure what I was getting into, but it was an honor to get selected," said Hafley. He had decided to apply for the award after his older brother was formerly named an O'Brian leader.

To apply, students handed in short essays on leadership to their school counselors. A panel of four to five staff members at the school then select a student anonymously.

Hafley said the seminars helped him discover new friends and learn important lessons on success and failure.


"You're going to have failure, but the key is how high you bounce back up," explained Hafley.

The seminar also helped reiterate what his days on the green have taught him.

"In golf, you have to have confidence, a lot of golf is mental," said Hafley. In both leadership roles and in sports, tough, intelligent decisions must sometimes be made. "...Once you've made that decision, you have to believe that it's right..."

But golf isn't Hafley's only claim to stardom, said high school principal Ty Howard. He is also a straight-A student and member of the Beta club.

"The only way I know Tyler is through positive means," said Howard. He is a "top athlete and excellent student... We're really proud."

Hafley has led his class as a former freshman vice president and represented his church as a missionary to Durango, Mexico. It was a "life changing experience," he said.

The combination of his experiences at the HOBY seminars , while playing a team sport, and serving on a mission with the church will carry him closer to his goals, including those of playing college golf, said Hafley.

"It will be helpful in the future, I'm sure," he said of the HOBY experience. But as far as college picks are concerned, Hafley is letting his hard work pave the way.

"I'm going to try to do good in school, and see how things go," he said.

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