The Cherokee Creek Country Club has started to become more populated as the coronavirus COVID-19 health emergency has continued.
In a couple weeks the club’s golf course will likely feature its tranditional mid-June overflow crowd.
That’s because the annual Mike Fleming Memorial is set to be played.
Early during the pandemic tournament officials were reluctant to commit to holding the 23rd annual event but ago Doc Crowley said the tournament would go on as planned, but he was would be watching to see how a Boys & Girls Club fundraiser tournament was handled.
That tournament had been set for the weekend of May 16 but was postponed to last weekend due to the weather.
Crowley says the tournament may have to make adjustments like having tee times as opposed to a shotgun shot where multiple groups of teams begin on different holes and progress through the course.
“A lot of folks have wanted to do that because they like to follow they last few groups around on Sunday,” said Crowley.
Crowley is typically in one of those groups. Crowley and partner Jerry Hix have been in the championship flight every year they’ve played together.
Last year Crowley and Hix were third in the tournament won by Randall Wheat and Jason May.
The win was the fifth for Wheat but the first with May as a partner in the scramble.
There have been some teams who typically play the tournament opt out for this year.
“We had a couple teams bail out but we’ve had a couple teams from here in Booneville that have wanted to play so we let them in,” said Crowley. “We actually have one more team. I think we’re at 109 teams.”
The tournament is named for the late Mike Fleming, who died in a vehicle accident in 1997. Fleming was a halfback/linebacker for Booneville.
He scored 15 touchdowns during his senior season of 1982 to lead the Bearcats to the playoffs for the first time under Doug Scheel.
The playoff appearance both ended a three-year playoff drought and started a streak of seven straight appearances by Booneville.
In his only playoff game, Fleming ran for 169 yards in a losing effort against Walnut Ridge. Included in that total is a 60-yard touchdown run.
In addition to the 1,172 yards Fleming rushed for during the 1982 season, he also recorded 150 tackles.
During his career, Fleming gained 1,613 yards and scored 26 touchdowns, five two-point conversions and kicked two extra points for 168 total points scored.