Rochelle graduate Hayden Jones received his first taste of collegiate golf this fall, competing with the Kishwaukee College team under new head coach Thomas Brennan. Both Brennan and Jones are RTHS alums and former Hub golfers. Additionally, Brennan and Jones are both left-handers, and the two have already formed a strong bond over the first half of the golf season.
“It’s been a blessing having the chance to be taught by coach Brennan,” Jones said. “It really helps that we’re both left-handed because he can show me things with his swing that I can apply to mine. It’s also great that we can talk about our past experiences playing for RTHS.”
Jones was one of five men to hit the tees for the Kishwaukee College golf program this fall. The Kougars competed in five events throughout September and October, with the season scheduled to resume in the spring with six more matches as well as the NJCAA Nationals. Jones opened the season with 197 over 36 holes in the Skyhawk Classic at Byron’s PrairieView Golf Club before carding 172 in the IVCC Fall Classic at Senica’s Oak Ridge Golf Course.
“I think the first semester went great,” Jones said. “I learned a lot from coach Brennan that I think will definitely help me moving forward. I enjoyed playing with my new teammates and they were really easy to get along with. I thought my course management improved the most. Depending on where I was on the course, I was able to hit certain shots as opposed to just walking up and hitting the ball. I want to improve my ball striking so I can shape my shots.”
Jones concluded the fall season with 277 across two days and 54 holes at the NJCAA Region IV Championships at PrairieView Golf Club. A former multi-sport student-athlete at RTHS, Jones plans to play golf and baseball for the Kougars during the spring semester. The Kishwaukee baseball team will begin its season against Frontier Community College on Feb. 26, 2021.
“It’s been a while since I played baseball because of COVID-19, so I’m excited to get back out there,” said Jones, who recently spent one year with the TCS Post-Grad Academy in McKinney, Texas. “I plan to make baseball a priority but I will still play golf whenever I can.”