Congratulations to the first winner of NPC Athlete of the Week for the 2022-23 school year: Jack Wallace of the Tate Boys Golf Team.

The junior Aggies garnered 41.46% of the total vote in the NPC’s online poll held after the August 22-27 play period. Each weekly winner receives a one-of-a-kind Athlete of the Week jersey provided by BSN SPORTS.

In the opening week of the season, Wallace shot a nine-hole score of 34 to earn low medal honors in a three-team meet at Osceola Country Club. He led Tate to the tag team victory as the Aggies finished with a combined score of 164, nine strokes ahead of second-placed Booker T. Washington.

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Learn more about Wallace on and off the pitch below after the senior spoke with NPC sportswriter Patrick Bernadeau. Come back next week to vote in the next NPC Athlete of the Week poll.

Q&A with Jack Wallace

Cantonment's Jack Wallace reacts to his putt sinking during the Divot Derby at Tiger Point Golf Club in Gulf Breeze on Wednesday July 20, 2022.

NPC: You won two events this fall. What was the key to your start to the season?

Wallace: “Really it’s all about the nerves at first because I’m going to start a bit shaky and then I have to get it under control. If I can start the season with a clean slate and not worry about last year and how I I did not play too well at the end, I feel like I can play some of my best golf and keep going.”

NPC: In an effort to help erase last year, you had a great summer season. How did that help for the fall?

Wallace: “It was good because it gave me confidence for this year. After doing a few laps in the 60s, a few even parity laps and a lot of second places throughout the summer, it definitely gives you more self-confidence. It’s not as stressful, you know how you compete with some of the guys here and you’re doing well throughout the season.”

NPC: What do you consider to be one of your strengths?

Wallace: During the summer it’s probably off the tee. I did pretty well with that. I think right now it’s probably anywhere from 160 yards and I’m pretty decent with it. At the Byron Nathan (Golf Classic) the other day, I was (the ball) 165 yards from the hole after hitting a 4 iron off the tee and hit it 10 feet. If I can hit a 165-yard shot from 10 feet, I’ll at least birdie a few times. I think right now my irons and corner shots are working.”

NPC: What would you say is a weakness?

Wallace: “It’s always been a putt, I just can’t get it to roll at my best. I’m getting a little bit better with it at the moment, I made a few putts the other day and it kind of strengthened my confidence. I’m changing a few little things, but I think over the summer it’s definitely set, and just over the years it’s set.”

NPC: When did you start playing golf?

Wallace: “I started playing golf about five and a half years ago I think. I got my first set of golf clubs for Christmas and my dad and I went out and started messing around. It’s actually where I started, here (at Cypress Lakes Golf Club). It’s always good to come back.”

NPC: What sport do you like the most?

Wallace: “I think it’s meeting all the new people, because I’ve been able to play in Orlando, Miami, Georgia, a few times in Alabama. Just meeting new competitors and new people in general is always fun. Playing in golf, you never know who you’re going to play with.”

NPC: In the five and a half years, was there a time when things clicked for you and you realized you could be pretty good at it?

Wallace: “I think it was about a year and a half or two years ago. That’s when I started to take things a little more seriously. When you start, you don’t think to your future and maintain it.. A lot of people start and they play baseball they have two sports in mind. But I quit baseball, I started playing golf more, I kept coming back and competing in tournaments. It got me to where I am now.”

NPC: You mentioned the future. Where do you want this sport to take you in the future?

Wallace: “Certainly college, at least. I think college is always an option. Right now, for me at least, it’s safe in my mind that I’m going to college for golf. After that, it’s still up in the air because you don’t know what’s going to happen at that point. I’d love to turn pro, who wouldn’t, but it takes a lot to get there (laughs).”

NPC: If you had one person or player you could start and play a game with, who would it be?

Wallace:’ “Probably my great-grandfather. He passed away when I was younger. He always loved to play golf. I have his Hole-In-One golf ball in my bedroom. We’re basically the same person in my life. ‘after what everyone tells me.”

NPC: How do you prepare for a meeting?

Wallace: “Usually I go home really fast, I take about five minutes at home to get ready. I always grab something to eat and drink on the way. Then I head to the course, normally for matches of 18 holes, I try to arrive about an hour early to have everything in. I head to the shooting range, that way I walk forward and hit balls without having to think about it. having gotten all my stuff out of the way, I hit a few putts, chip for a minute, then head to the course.

NPC: Now for the silly questions, if you could have one thing to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Wallace: “Definitely sushi. There are so many different ones, but it’s endless food that I could probably eat forever.”

NPC: If you had a super power, what would it be?

Wallace: “I would love to fly. That’s probably a basic question, but I would love to fly. Who really wouldn’t want to fly?”

NPC: Do you have a favorite golfer?

Wallace: “I’ve always loved Jordan (Spieth), especially now through thick and thin some would say because he hasn’t had the best the last few years. He’s won a couple of events the last few years and some of the same comeback – when I started playing golf was when it went through the masters stage, so as a kid when you see someone who is really good and you immediately go to them. just liked him for the start and I still like him, he seems like a really cool, really nice guy to talk to.”

NPC: What’s in your music playlist?

Wallace: “It’s a big mix because my dad is a big rocker, while I’m not a big rocker. There’s always country; I go to the Tate, so why not, right? ?There’s always rap and hip hop and stuff like that. .It’s really just a big mix, there’s not one thing that’s more on mine than the other.”

NPC: What’s the last thing you binged-watched?

Wallace: “I don’t really watch much TV, and if I do, it’s always golf or football. But the last show I binge-watched is probably Outer Banks whenever the second season is up. exit. That was some time ago, though.”

NPC: Finally, what is the objective of the season?

Wallace: “I hope to put in a few more good laps, I didn’t have the best lap in Byron Nathan the other day. I just want to keep (my scores) there and finish in the top 10 or top five all throughout the season…, so I kind of want to continue this year with something a little bit better.”

Patrick Bernadeau is a sports reporter for the Pensacola News Journal. He can be reached at (850) 503-3828, on Twitter @PatBernadeau or by email at [email protected]