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Central Alabama golf loses fine leader: Nick Ward
 April 25, 2013

From the fall of 2009 through the spring semester of 2011, Nick Ward of Fayetteville, Georgia competed in golf and attended Central Alabama Community College.  After graduating from CACC, Nick transferred to Georgia Southern University where he majored in Logistics.  In Nick’s two years in Alexander City, he touched quite of few lives.  Nick’s first ambition, when coming to college, was to become a greens superintendent in the golf industry.  In the summer between his two college years, Nick worked for Cole McInnis at Willow Point Country Club. 

While attending GSU, Nick was working at a local restaurant named Loco’s in Statesboro, GA.  On the evening of February 7, 2013 Nick was walking home, on the sidewalk, in Statesboro, GA when a drunk driver lost control of his vehicle and struck Nick from behind.  Reports stated that Nick was thrown 150 feet in the air and landed on cement.  Nick amazingly was still alive and was airlifted to Savannah, GA where he was admitted into the Intensive Care Unit of Memorial Hospital.  Nick acquired multiple broken and fractured bones and tremendous brain trauma from the accident.  For over 3 and half weeks, Nick remained in a coma where hundreds of family and friends visited and prayed for his total recovery.  On March 4th, Nick lost his battle to survive from a blood infection and peacefully and painlessly passed away.  The family created a webpage in CaringBridge.org to keep friends up to date on Nick’s physical status.  This young man had almost 43,000 viewers to this site.

Nick’s loving parents, Jim and Cynthia Ward, asked me for a Central Alabama Community College golf shirt for Nick to wear as his burial attire, as in their words, “the time Nick spent at CACC in Alexander City, were the best two years of Nick’s life.”  The family has also requested that in lieu of flowers for Nick, donations are requested be sent to the CACC Golf Program.

As the CACC Head Golf Coach, I have seen as a player in the 1970’s and as the present Head Coach how the young men Trojan Golfers come together to develop a brotherhood along with all of their former golfers from years past.  Since the accident in February, I have received notes of prayers and encouragement from golf team members from the 1960’s through the present, which I shared with the Ward Family.  The Trojan Golf Program in Alexander City is a very special fraternity of gentlemen who acquired and discovered some of their fondest memories and best friends in their short two years here.

Nick, who competed in nearly every CACC Golf tournament while attending the College, was unable to sleep in the van while we were traveling to various events, Nick road shotgun with me on every trip.  Nick and I spent countless hours talking mostly about golf, academics, fishing, football, music as well as our past experiences and future hopes.  Nick enjoyed my music of the old Allman Brothers era and I learned to enjoy some of his favorites of which was highlighted by a band named “Wide Spread Panic”.  I can’t tell you how many times Nick said, “Coach, I know you know this song, listen to WSP’s rendition!”

Over the two years at CACC, Nick became the team leader.  It wasn’t because he was the best player but rather he had the strongest will to achieve as a team, rather than an individual.  If Nick committed anything to you, you could bank on his word.  Since Nick left CACC to Statesboro, GA and it was a rare week that he and I did not have some form of communication.  Nick became a very good friend of mine and I will miss his very much.  Because of Nick’s dedication to his commitments and true to his word, I am creating a new perpetual award for CACC Golf Team members - the “Nick Ward Tribute” which will be given to the most committed, responsible and reliable member of the Team each year.

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