CNJ staff photo: Kevin Wilson Hunter McLemore watches his tee shot from No. 4 during Saturday’s Tyler Fontenot Memorial tournament at Municipal Golf Course.
Municipal Golf Course is scheduled to be closed later this year, but on Saturday it hosted a four-person scramble honoring the memory of former Clovis High golfer Tyler Fontenot.
Nine four-man teams participated in the Tyler Fontenot Memorial golf scramble. Fontenot, then 17, had just completed his junior year at CHS when he and his uncle, Joe Haseloff of Farwell, drowned in a boating accident on Memorial Day Weekend three years ago near Abilene, Texas.
While Fontenot finished in the top 10 twice in the Class 5A state tournament, friends and family remembered him Saturday for his upbeat personality.
Donavin Sanchez and Will Archibeque, high school rivals of Fontenot’s at Portales, said they looked forward to playing against him and, more than that, just being with him.
“The best thing about Tyler is that no matter how bad you were playing or how bad he was playing, you couldn’t get mad,” Archibeque said. “He always made you laugh.”
Archibeque and Sanchez said they began playing in youth golf tournaments around the age of 8, something which continued into high school. They also hung around a lot away from the course.
“When we were younger, we’d tell our parents we’d come out to (Muni) to play golf, and then we’d just go out here and fish,” Sanchez said.
For Haseloff’s wife, Laurie, the accident was particilarly tough since she lost her husband and nephew.
“I’m very biased, but he was an exceptional young man,” she said of Fontenot. “I’m just so proud of him. You still hear stories where he did things for people and encouraged people.”
Cal Fullerton was an assistant coach for the Wildcats under George Simmons during Fontenot’s first year, then became head coach the following year. He said Fontenot helped him make the transition.
“He’d just come out of the blue and pop in at the house,” Fullerton said. “I only had one kid then, a little boy, and he always liked it when Tyler came over.
“He was really the first good golfer I had (as head coach). He (made it seem) like we knew each other forever.”
Duane Chase, who does CHS football and boys basketball games on KCLV-AM, went to high school with Laurie Haseloff at Clovis and knew Tyler from the time he was born.
“When I started broadcasting, he asked that if he was out of town, ‘Is it all right if I call you (during the game for score updates)?’” Chase said. “I told him to text me because I couldn’t talk on the phone when I was on the air.
“He’d do that several times a game. It sort of became a tradition.”