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“The young guns of McAlester boys golf” Shawn Perkins and Seth Gilliam – Presented by Jim Jeffreys Shelter Insurance

You might call them the young guns of McAlester High golf. Sophomore Shawn Perkins and freshman Seth Gilliam are already veterans of the state golf playoffs. Both were members of the Buffs team that qualified for state last year and, even though the team just missed qualifying this year, both Seth and
Shawn qualified individually and played in the recent Class 5A state tournament.

“Seth and Shawn kind of alternated playing 1 bag this year,” said golf coach Justin Bond. “Shawn showed that he has the demeanor and swagger, if you will, to play that spot and didn’t let playing with other 1 bags intimidate him. Seth eats, sleeps and thinks about golf all the time and has got great potential. I was impressed with his consistency at state.”

Seth grew up playing baseball in Indianola and when he moved to McAlester two years ago, he ended up living near the golf course. Some of his friends encouraged him to find some clubs and come out and play and he fell in love with the sport.

“I like being outdoors and the challenge of bettering my own scores. I have the Tiger Woods mindset of going to every tournament to win and I think that helped me get to state this year. My dad has been my main motivator. He played football in high school and never made it to state, so he’s really encouraged me to get there.”

Shawn started playing golf with his dad when he was young but became more serious about it in middle school.

“My dad played golf in high school, so he encouraged me to give it a try in middle school and I fell in love with it,” said Shawn who is also a lineman on the Buffs Class 5A state runner-up football team.

“This season was good. I placed in four tournaments but was a little disappointed with how I played at state. My putting and short game were good, but I had trouble controlling my driver and I shot in the high and mid-80s. Ironically a few days after state I was out on the course and tried out my dad’s new driver with an extra stiff shaft and I shot 78,75,76. So maybe I’ll see if I can steal it from him for next year,” Shawn laughed.

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