Sports life for Guelph high school students

Madison Howell hopes playing competitive golf will lead to a scholarship in the US to pursue her number one passion, soccer

When Madison Howell was born, a golf putter was placed neatly beside her in her bassinet.

Unsurprisingly, since then, golf has played a major role in the 16-year-old’s life.

Howell competed on the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour, (MJT) Canada’s number one Junior Golf Tour, at Settler’s Ghost Golf Club in Barrie last month.

Among the top finishers. Howell placed third in the MJT Girls 15-19 age category.

“It was a very good tournament, but the course was quite challenging,” said Howell.

“It was probably the most challenging I’ve ever played on the MJT Tour. I have played in seven tournaments on this tour this summer, and I have two tournaments left, plus one team challenge.”

The MJT is the only national junior tour run exclusively by the PGA of Canada Professionals and ‘Road to College Golf’ in Canada. It hosts 100 events across Canada, including multi-day events for competitive players aged 11-19 with qualification for international tournaments.

The program has annual awards, scholarships and incentives to help reward performance and participation throughout the season. MJT alumni include many professional touring players and Canadian PGA Professionals, as well as Canadian Provincial, National, and Junior Amateur Champions.

“It was an amazing experience. It was fun but the course was really hard. I really had to work on my course management skills to know what to do,” said Howell.

“When I was younger, I did another Canadian junior tour and then switched to this tour because it was the number one tour in Canada, and the alumni that were there, were all so impressive.”

Howell’s parents introduced their daughter to sports from a very young age. He started playing golf when he was only three years old.

“Madison is passionate about sports. My husband introduced him to golf. He is also a golfer. It has always been a big part of his life. He’s really thrived in this game and has come so far. This is really fun for us,” said Madison’s mother, Elaine.

But when it comes to sports, golf isn’t Howell’s only passion.

He hopes playing competitive golf will lead to a scholarship in the US to pursue his favorite sport, soccer.

This GCVI grade 12 student is the assistant coach of the school’s soccer team.

“About two years ago, I thought why not make a career in this field, because I know a lot. I started coaching the Junior Gryphons U16s as a defensive assistant, and then I started coaching my high school team as an offensive line coach. And I recently worked with the Men’s U18 Gryphons Junior Tackle team as an assistant offensive line coach as well,” said Howell.

In two weeks, Howell hopes to coach his high school team again.

“I want to use golf to take me further in football. I’ve always had a passion for this game. I grew up with it. It was something my father told me to do. My parents have always loved it. They married in the football stadium, on the 50-yard line at Dallas Texas Stadium,” Howell said.

“Everything in our house has always been about football.”

Howell says his goal is to become a defensive line coach in the NFL.

“Also, I want to get a degree in sports law, so if I don’t want to coach anymore, I have something else I can fall back on. I’m also thinking about becoming a sports agent to represent NFL players, or maybe even manage NFL teams,” he said.

Howell is grateful for the support he has received from family and friends.

“Many of my friends don’t really like sports, but they are always there for me. And my best friend has been on every soccer team I’ve coached. He has been my number one supporter since I started coaching,” Howell said.

“All my friends are very supportive of what I do.”

As for golf, Howell is busy helping run a golf camp for children, ages four to 12, at Cutten Fields in Guelph throughout the summer.

“I like the independence that the sport of golf gives me. While I’m a social person and enjoy spending time with friends, I also enjoy being out on the pitch. It’s so peaceful. Every day of the week, I wake up at 5:30. I take classes at 6:45, I practice until 9, and then I help run summer camp. I made some really good friends,” Howell said.

“I have two more regular tournaments left this summer and then I have the MJT National Team Challenge where I will be playing on the Sawmill Golf Academy Team in September. And I will also be holding high school competitions including OFSAA, if I can make it through. ”

Howell enjoys the competition and the community it creates.

“In every tournament, everyone can connect with each other. And I was able to connect with girls I never would have met if I wasn’t in tournaments. And I really like the atmosphere,” Howell said.

Howell said even when things didn’t pan out, every tournament was a learning experience to be proud of.

“I hope to make it big in football, in a program where I can play golf, win a few tournaments and coach soccer,” said Howell.

“Sports will always be a big part of my life.”

Hadwin Floyd

"Coffee enthusiast. Hipster-friendly social media fanatic. Certified zombie expert. Problem solver."

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