Novak receives Tra Palmer golf award

Published 5:44 pm Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Golf coach Tommy Wheeler and senior Bearcat Christian Novak smile with the Tra Palmer award.

Bainbridge senior Christian Novak exemplifies good sportsmanship, honor and integrity on the golf course. Those qualities make him perfect for the 30th presentation of the Tra Palmer Award.

Every year, the Tra Palmer Award is given to a senior player on the Bearcat golf team that exhibits both on and off the golf course those traits that made Palmer such a special young man.

“It’s an honor,” Novak said. “When I found out I won it, I researched who Tra Palmer was. It’s a privilege and an honor to be known as someone like that.”

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Palmer loved life, was an avid sportsman, and although he was never the “best” athlete on each team he participated in, he was an extraordinary team player. His enthusiasm, encouragement and endurance made all who knew him love him. Palmer’s parents honor those precious memories of their son by giving this award to the young man who has not only given unselfishly to help make his team better, but who also excels in the classroom as a student.

Golf coach Tommy Wheeler said Novak has been deserving of the Tra Palmer award since he was a sophomore.

“He was always there, and if he wasn’t, I knew where he was,” Wheeler said. “He played the game the way it was supposed to be played. It was fun coaching him because you didn’t have to worry about him doing something inappropriate on the golf course.”

One of the first things Wheeler teaches his players is to take off their hats and shake hands when a round is over. Novak always did that well, and encouraged younger players to show the same level of sportsmanship.

“He’s very deserving,” Wheeler said.

Novak wants to someday be a high school history teacher and a golf coach.