WOOD RIVER - Junior golfer Carson Reef has become one of the area's most improved players, who has cut his score down from being in the 90s from last season to being consistently in the low 80s, sometimes in the upper 70s. He's also taken on a leadership role for the Oilers, letting teammates know he's at the course to help out with any skills that they may need help with.

For these accomplishments, Reef has been named the Riverbender.com EAWR male Athlete of the Month for September, 2020.

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Reef, who plays for head coach Kyle Duncan, has improved his scores tremendously since he began playing for the Oilers, and he calls it his biggest accomplishment on the team.

"This season, I've dropped my scores drastically from last year, going from shooting in the low to mid 90s, to now being in the low to mid 80s, sometimes being in the high 70s," Reef said. "My leadership skills have definitely improved, as I send out a message before we have any practice, letting people know I am there early, and I can help with chipping or putting. As team captain, I feel the boys on the team look up to me, and push themselves to always compete with me."

Reef has been playing golf since he was younger, but didn't take up the sport seriously until last year.

"I have been playing golf ever since I was younger," Reef said, "but it was never a serious sport for me up until my sophomore year, when I realized that this is the sport I want to do for as long as I possibly can, and play in college. My favorite thing about golf is not only do you have to be physically capable of playing, but you also have to be mentally capable, because when it comes down to golf, a lot of the game is all mental."

Reef thanked his family and one of his friends for sticking by him and never getting down on him, no matter what.

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"I would like to thank both of my parents for supporting me through the tough times," Reef said, "and never giving up on me, no matter what happens. I would also like to thank Curtis Mullaney, who is one of my best friends which I met in seventh grade. We started playing golf together in seventh grade when his late father took us out to the course, and the competitiveness between us helped me to be a better golfer."

Reef is also a starter on the back line for the Oilers soccer team, a point guard on the basketball team, and is a utility player for the baseball team. He also plays center back for the Gateway Rush club soccer side, and has earned letters in all four sports. He's also been involved with his father in home projects, and has started to working on fixing cars and some home remodeling. His involvement in high school sports has helped changed his perspective on life itself.

"High school sports has changed how I look at everything in life," Reef said. "For example, when you're playing a sport no matter what it is, you will have people who just don't like you, and you can choose to let that bother you, or not. I feel as if sports have made me stronger and less sensitive to people in general. I believe that this is a good thing to have in the modern world, because no matter what, someone will not like you, and if you let it just bounce off of you and not worry about it, you're going to have a peaceful life."

Reef is interested in playing golf in college, preferably somewhere in the south, near Georgia if possible. But if he can't go to college out of state, he's interested in attending a local college, going on to a bigger school after a year or two. He's not yet sure about a major, but is interested in either automotive work and home remodeling, or being involved in law enforcement, possibly as either a prison guard or parole officer.

Academically, Reef is an A student, having made high honor roll every semester since his freshman year. He's also taking honors classes at EAWR, having all A's, with the exception of a B, and is also a member of the Gold Renaissance. The thing he's most thankful for this season is that more players came out for golf at the school.

"Last year, we really didn't have a team," Reef said. "We only had three people this year, and the school was not going to have a team unless we had more boys come out and play. I am really thankful of all the people that gave this sport a shot, just so we could have a season."

Riverbender.com's Athlete of the Month program is made possible by the generosity of our sponsors, and the cooperation of our area high schools. This is a great accomplishment, and one to be very proud of. Please join us in congratulating this young athlete. We at Riverbender.com wish you continued success in your future!

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