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Pearl River Hall of Famer to revive golf program

Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 9:00 PM CDT

POPLARVILLE, Miss. (PRCC Athletics) - For the first time in more than a decade Pearl River Community College will be dusting off its clubs and hitting the links. PRCC announced Tuesday that it has reinstated its men’s golf program. Additionally, the Wildcats plan to gradually build Mississippi’s only JUCO women’s golf squad.

“Golf has retained its popularity in our surrounding district with our high schools. We’re constantly looking for opportunities to bring students to Pearl River, to find things they can be involved in and to help make moments memories,” Pearl River President Dr. Adam Breerwood said. “We think the more we can offer students through athletics programs, clubs and organizations, the more they will be lifelong supporters of our institution.”

The Pearl River Board of Trustees officially approved the reinstatement of the men’s program and creation of the women’s program during its Feb. 9 monthly meeting. The NJCAA approved PRCC’s plans shortly thereafter.

“It’s an exciting time at Pearl River Community College. We continue to grow under Dr. Breerwood’s supreme leadership in a time where growth seems stagnant,” Pearl River Director of Athletics Scotty Fletcher said. “I would like to give our Board of Trustees and our President Dr. Breerwood all the credit for seeing the value in bringing back a sport that means a lot to our great state and especially our local community.”

Pearl River is joining the following MACCC schools that have existing men’s programs: Copiah-Lincoln, East Mississippi, East Central, Hinds, Itawamba, Meridian, Mississippi Gulf Coast, Northeast and Southwest.

NEW COACH Leading the new era of Pearl River golf will be a familiar name in PRCC Hall of Fame inductee Coby Scarborough. The former All-Region 23 performer is a Class A PGA Professional at Millbrook Golf & Country Club, which will be the Wildcats’ home course.

“It’s an honor,” Scarborough said of his new role at his alma mater. “Born and raised here in Picayune and growing up at the Millbrook Country Club, it’s like a dream come true honestly. I played golf here growing up in high school and I was very fortunate to play at Pearl River Community College and now I’m back to run the program.

“I’m very honored to give back to the community that gave me a lot. The College gave me a good life.”

A native of Picayune and graduate of Picayune High, Scarborough was a standout at PRCC from 1994-96. During that time, under the guidance of coach Mike Humphreys, Scarborough earned All-Region 23 honors in 1995 as the Wildcats won both the State and Region 23 titles. Along with two of his teammates, Anthony Lee and David Orgeron, the trio of Wildcats advanced to compete in the national tournament in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Scarborough finished the competition 22nd after shooting 75 in the final round and 314 in the four-day event.

In the buildup to the national event in ‘95, PRCC claimed three tournament championships: Meridian’s Eagle Invitational, Mississippi Gulf Coast’s Bulldog Invitational and Hinds’ Eagle Invitational.

“Coby brings a lot to the table with knowledge and experience. He’s a hometown guy in the sense he was raised in Picayune, graduated from Picayune High School, attended Pearl River and had a lot of success here. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience, not only locally but on the national stage,” Breerwood said. “We always strive to hire people who understand what we’re trying to do, both on and off the course. Coby checks all those boxes for us.

“He’s going to be a great addition to the family at Pearl River.”

Scarborough went on to attend Mississippi State University, where he studied marketing while also enrolled in the rare professional golf management program. The former Wildcat almost immediately began working on golf courses as a pro, first as an assistant and then as the head golf pro and membership director at Club at Porto Cima in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. Scarborough recently returned to Pearl River County, where he’s currently the golf pro at Millbrook Golf & Country Club.

“Anytime you can add a Hall of Fame player as your coach who represented the maroon and gold the proper way, it’s a great day to be a Wildcat,” Fletcher said. “Meeting with Coach Scarborough, I immediately knew we had the right person leading the way as our student athletes master the game known as the ‘infallible test.’ His energy, commitment to excellence, passion, and vision he has for our golf program is second to none.

“There are no reservations that Coach Scarborough will elevate this program to its rightful place among our peers.”

HOME COURSE The Wildcats will once again call Millbrook Golf & Country Club home. PRCC hopes the course will be added to the MACCC tournament rotation in the near future.

“It’s a conversation that has taken place several times over the last year and a half,” Breerwood said. “We thought the time was right and we’re grateful for the leadership with their board that we were able to work something out where that will be our home course.”

The partnership between the course and college was an easy one. First founded in 1954, Millbrook has been an institution in PRCC’s district for decades.

“There are a lot of current people and former people who go to Pearl River, so why not try to extend our footprint and bring it down to Picayune and Millbrook to show people in our surrounding communities that we want to be a part of it,” Breerwood said. “I have sensed when I’m there that there are a lot of people who spent a lot of time on this campus. They always ask about the college, want to be a part of it and we want to bring the college to them.”

VISION FOR PROGRAMS Scarborough acknowledges rebuilding a program from scratch will take time. Considering the talent rich area that calls the Pine Belt and South Mississippi home, Scarborough is optimistic the Wildcats will be competitive sooner rather than later.

“But there are a lot of great golfers in this community,” he said. “These guys play golf 24-7, 365 days out of the year. Not only do they have the resources, but they have the will and the drive. They have more talent in this region than pretty much anywhere else in the state. I’m very fortunate in that regard. This will be a great opportunity for us to showcase their talents.”

Scarborough said the plan with the women’s program is to add several golfers each year until it can stand on its own. Early on, he said, the women will be able to compete in the men’s tournaments — they’ll just play from the women’s tees.

Overall, because of his certification and experiences, Scarborough feels he’s the right coach to help future Wildcats develop both on the course and in life.

“Not only am I the golf coach, but I’m also a Class A PGA Golf Professional so I give lessons and can critique their game and get them to the next level,” he said. “They’re not just going to have some guy show up and drive them in a van to tournaments. They’re going to get the skillset to get them to that next level if they choose to do so.”

SCHEDULE The Wildcats will officially tee off the modern era of the golf program in the spring. PRCC’s first event will be the fourth Mississippi Association of Community Colleges competition in the 2021-22 school year, Feb. 21-22 at Quail Hollow in Summit. PRCC will then play at Dancing Rabbit in Philadelphia, Mississippi, March 6-7. Following a competition at Northwood in Meridian on March-21-22, the Wildcats will participate in the MACCC State Tournament at Wolf Hollow in Wesson on April 8-9. The Region 23 Tournament is slated for April 25-26 at Castlewoods in Jackson.

Scarborough is still working on the Wildcats’ first roster. Anyone interested in joining the program can contact him at cscarboroughpga@gmail.com.