Help comes quickly to Lake H.S. golf team hurt by stormWritten by Associated Press | | email@example.com
By JACK CARLE
The (Bowling Green) Sentinel-Tribune
Members of the Lake High School community are just trying to get some normalcy back into their lives after a devastating tornado swept through Lake Township earlier this month.
For 16 young men interested in playing golf for the Flyers this fall, that meant showing up for a team meeting just days after the tornado.
However, Casey Blank and Michael Kranz, lost all their personal golf equipment when their homes were destroyed. Also, all of Lake’s team equipment was swept away when the high school was destroyed.
“That first workout was Tuesday after the tornado and I didn’t expect to see those guys,” Terry Tansel, the head golf coach and a teacher at Lake High School, said about Blank and Kranz. “I felt awful the whole practice just wanting to do something for these kids.”
Still, the two, Blank a sophomore and Kranz a freshman, were ready to play golf and were going to use borrowed equipment if needed.
After that first practice, Tansel started making phone calls and he spoke with Steve Jubb at the PGA of America. Jubb quickly passed the information along to Dominic Antenucci, the executive director of Northern Ohio PGA, and within three hours Blank and Kranz were going to be outfitted for top of the line Titleist clubs, bags, balls and shoes.
“It wasn’t an hour after I talked with Dominic that he called back and said Titleist would outfit the kids. It wasn’t more than two-and-a-half hours after I made the initial call that these kids were all taken care of, no questions asked,” Tansel said. “It really says a lot about what the PGA is willing to do for the sport, the kids and to help out.
“Really the PGA has been great to these kids. The response has been awesome,” Tansel added. “It says a lot about the golf community because it is a sport like no other. … You’re learning life lessons out here.”
Antenucci said the PGA was more than ready to help.
“Every time I talk to Terry, he is so upbeat,” Antenucci said. “He’s a special coach. He’s a life skills coach.”
And it hasn’t stopped there.
“They needed a lot more than just golf equipment, so we helped them with lessons, we helped them with places to play and further equipment. You ask one person for one thing and it just compounds into other things,” Antenucci said. “It’s just a (golfing) community effort to help them get back into golf and into life.
“This goes far beyond athletics,” he added. “We’re learning, teaching and performing life skills.”
TaylorMade is providing home and away shirts for the team; the Haas-Jordan Umbrella Company is providing team umbrellas; Brand Team Athletics is providing Blank and Kranz with $500 worth of Nike apparel and the team with eight new golf bags.
“I think it’s very nice what they have done,” Blank said. `”It’s great that they would do stuff like that.”
“I think it’s really cool because I haven’t experienced all this kind of help before,” Kranz said. “It’s just really cool that people help out this much. It was nice that they would help out the whole team.
“I’m pretty excited (about the new equipment). I’ve been looking forward since he (Tansel) told me about it.”
Blank added that the support has helped bring the team together.
Several golf courses in the area are opening their venues for a practice round for the team. The Flyers will get tickets to attend the Jamie Farr LPGA Classic that starts Monday at Highland Meadows and will later be able to play the course.
The Flyers will also be attending a practice round of the World Golf Championships at the Bridgestone Invitational being played at Akron’s Firestone Country Club in August.
And this weekend, Blank, Kranz and freshman Nathan Ray were playing in a junior tournament at Firestone with Antenucci.
As part of the weekend, the Maumee Bay Golf Course was taking care of some meals and hotel rooms for the Blank and Kranz families.
“It’s going to be pretty cool,” Blank said earlier in the week about playing Firestone.
“I know the pros play on it and stuff, but I don’t know anything about it,” Kranz said about Firestone.
Blank and Kranz both had planned to just tee it up and have fun.
“There are a lot of good things that come out of tragedies and we just wanted to be a part of it,” Antenucci said.