WHEELING — Senior Michael Harris was refreshingly blunt in expressing his disappointment. And his coach, Chance Hearn, likewise, was brutally, though not uncommonly, candid in stating his unhappiness.
North Marion High’s golf team didn’t make the drive to Oglebay Resort to compete in the WVSSAC State Tournament to get second. The Huskies wanted a state championship and anything less was a failure in their eyes. Point blank.
“I don’t look at it as being impressive,” said Hearn of North Marion’s Class AA runners-up finish Oct. 7, 2020 to cap a season full of COVID-19 uncertainties and obstacles. “I’m honored to be here, be a part of this tournament, and have an opportunity to win a state championship, but I’m not very impressed with finishing as runners-up.”
The outspoken dissatisfaction of Hearn, Harris, and really the Huskies’ entire team in the aftermath of finishing as runners-up to Class AA state champion Shady Spring by seven strokes on Wednesday didn’t leave any room to contort the program’s mammoth rise over the past four years into a feel-good story.
But in hindsight, it was that exact relentless attitude and never-satisfied ethos that ultimately did make the Huskies worth celebrating.
The unforgiving expectations are what carried them out of the gutter as a program. The cutthroat mentality is what pushed them to the precipice of a state title as a team. And the ruthless pursuit to always be better is what will ultimately — in the days, weeks, and years down the line — make the memories and friendships of their experiences last.
“It’s been nice to have been a part of. I’m glad I could be part of such a great group of guys for four years,” said Harris, who finished as the Class AA individual state runner-up Wednesday to end his career at North Marion as one of the most accomplished golfers in program history.