Oct. 28—Latta senior Parker Pogue signed his letter of intent last week to continue his golf career at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha.
The signing ceremony took place inside the Latta Panther Fieldhouse before a throng of his teammates, family and supporters.
And while he's for sure thrilled to be a part of the up-and-coming USAO golf program, he and his LHS teammates have some unfinished business to attend to next spring.
The Panthers won a state title two years ago before running in the buzzsaw Community Christian School last season. But that private school is now competing in Class 3A, leaving coach Matt Bryant's Latta bunch the favorites to bring home the gold during Pogue's final prep campaign.
"We'll see if we can get it done in May," Pogue said during a chat with The Ada News following a photo session that must have included at least 50 snapshots.
When asked if there was any part of his own golf game he'd like to shore up before next spring, Pogue said he'd like to start making more putts.
"It has to be my putting. I've been hitting the ball well off the tee and hitting greens, I've just been struggling a little with my putting," he explained. "We'll get that lined out and hopefully bring home a state title."
How did USAO win the Parker Pogue sweepstakes? The Latta standout said he liked Drovers' head coach Luke Burns right off the bat.
"The coach came and watched me at a couple of tournaments. and he saw my potential," Pogue said.
Pogue has already got to know a number of his USAO teammates and they have already given him their support.
"The players that are there now. They were so welcoming. They're like family already," he said.
It didn't hurt that longtime friend and competitor Cooper Hardison is a freshman for the Drovers this fall. Pogue and Hardison, a graduate of Caney High School and the son of new Roff softball and boys basketball coach Eric Hardison, have been buddies for years.
Pogue and Cooper Hardison, a freshman from Caney High School who is already having a productive fall at USAO, have been friends for most of their golfing careers.
"Cooper Hardison has been like a brother to me since Day 1. We'll go kick it next year and try to bring home a championship to USAO," Pogue said.
Burns said it didn't take long for Pogue — who also considered Northeastern Oklahoma State in Tahlequah and Oklahoma City University during the recruitment process — to get on his radar.
"The world of junior golf is a small world. Lots of families know a lot of families and I had multiple people point me in his direction," he said.
Burns said it wasn't just Pogue's talent alone that led him to recruit the Latta senior to USAO.
"It's not just the quality of the golf, it's the quality of the man. When you get to know Parker — and see the way the community rallies around this kid you can tell he's something special. He's the type of guy we like to build our program around," he said. "Parker will come in and be surrounded by guys who will push him to be the best he can be."