The man has won 230 high school football games. Nearly 80 percent of the time he ever stepped onto a football field, his teams walked away victorious. Along the way during his 26 years of coaching, he won four state championships.
Despite a legacy of winning continually during a quarter century of athletic achievement, former Bridgeport High School football coach Wayne Jamison not only can’t win a golf tournament, he can’t win a golf tournament with his name on it.
Today, as he enters his 15thyear of participating in the annual Mary A. Reppert-Wayne Jamison Golf Tournament, the chances aren’t looking positive for the skid to end. At least if you ask at least one member of Jamison’s foursome.
“There’s not much of a chance,” said former Class AAA all-stater Steve Stout, who helps organize the event each year and is a regular on Jamison’s team. “He always blames us. He’ll get one good shot out of 18 holes and proudly proclaim ‘I’ve done my share.’ After that, he just kind of tells us how we’ve let him and our team down. Go ahead and ask Coach Jamison. He’ll tell you he has nothing to do with us losing”
Of course, Jamison was asked. And making Stout look like Nostradamus, the veteran coach was quick to lay the blame elsewhere.
“I can’t carry the load. I do my part every year with my putting, but those guys can’t hit the ball right. They hit it long, but it’s not straight and that’s the problem,” Jamison said.
Before going further into the apparent lack of talent involving Jamison and his team on the links, it should be noted that more than 100 individuals came out to golf today on a beautiful afternoon at the Bridgeport County Club. The purpose of the event, along with watching folks struggle with their golf game and reminisce and reconnect, is to raise funds for two annual scholarships.
Many students have benefitted from the scholarships awarded as the result of this event. The recently graduated Bridgeport High School Class of 2012 had Nicholas Smith as the Mary Reppert Scholarship winner and Ryan Echard as the Wayne Jamison Scholarship winner.
The tournament honors the memory of Reppert and the accomplishments of Jamison. Reppert was a long-time supporter of the Indians football program and her presence on the sidelines was almost as prevalent as Jamison’s. She taught science and biology and then substituted at the high school for almost three decades. Reppert passed away in 1998.
Jamison’s accomplishments are not only etched in most city resident’s and alumni’s memories, but are literally etched on the BHS field, which is named in Jamison’s honor. His teams captured championships in 1972, 1979, 1986 and 1988.
Jamison’s team of Steve Stout, his son Stephen Stout and Stephen McDaniel didn’t start today’s tournament as a favorite. In fact, it’s likely Vegas wouldn’t even post the odds. The reason for that is simple if you ask Jamison.
“Well, Steve McDaniel is awful,” said Jamison amidst laughter.
When told of Jamison’s critique, McDaniel was quick to fire back that years ago as a student at Bridgeport High School, Jamison had a different opinion of his athletic prowess.
“He used to tell me I was the greatest flag football player to ever participate in gym class at Bridgeport High School. Now, he won’t even tell you that,” McDaniel said as the group teed off on the first hole.
Even teeing off to start the tournament on the first hole is a bone of contention amongst Jamison’s group. If you ask the elder Stout, there’s a reason why their foursome now starts on the first hole.
“This guy complained for years that his name was on the tournament and he couldn’t tee off to start his day on the first hole,” said Stout. “He complained so much that (Bridgeport County Club’s) V.J. (Baldini) has to make sure we now get on the first hole.”
According to Jamison, that’s not how things shook out.
“It was Steve that was complaining,” Jamison said. “I’m not like that.”
Before the tournament began, Stout took time to get serious and thank individuals for their assistance in carrying on the event to its 15thyear. He also singled out Bob Reep, who came up with the idea for the tournament and has been intimately involved in keeping it going.
Editor's Note: Top, cover photo shows Wayne Jamison hitching a ride with teammate Stephen McDaniel, whom Jamison described as having a golf game that was "awful." Bottom photo, Steve Stout drills the ball off the first hole in an attempt to allow Jamison putt his team to victory. Complete results and wrap up tomorrow on Connect-Bridgeport.
Here's a link to a photo gallery from the tournament: