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Cameron keeping father’s legacy alive at Guilford

Published: Sep. 29, 2020 at 10:50 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A winning atmosphere is what Guilford head coach Dan Cameron grew up in, learning from one of the best golf minds the stateline has had to offer, but now it’s up to him to pass that knowledge on.

“He’s still hard to talk about, but I wouldn’t be here without him.”

You can hear it in Cameron’s voice just how much his father, Mark, means to him.

The former Byron head coach lost a long battle with cancer two years ago and now his son is keeping his legacy alive.

“A lot of his stuff are things I use now and playing for him as a high schooler, where I really started to notice how good he was was when I was a college player and on my own the things he does at practice or did at practice,” said Cameron.

Mark Cameron led the Tigers for 15 years, posting zero losing seasons, nine regional titles, two sectionals and qualified for state nine times, winning the 1A championship in 2007.

Dan does not expect to catch him anytime soon.

“We’ve got a long ways to go because the thing that he did so well was the longevity," Cameron said. "He built up those kids below and they were able to be good for a long time.”

One way Mark liked to build them up was through the short game and that’s exactly what Dan is teaching the Vikings.

“These guys know a little bit about my dad, but that’s been the huge part of it is just chipping and putting," said Cameron. "When you don’t have your A-game, you’ve got to have that crutch to lean on.”

“I wish I could have four seasons with him, but two seasons has done a lot for me,” said senior Conner Knuth.

Knuth has not had much time with Cameron, but his coach’s lessons are definitely rubbing off.

The senior finished 27th and 28th over the last two years at the NIC-10 tournament, but in 2020, he has shaved two strokes off of his average and heading into conference this weekend, he owns the third best score this season.

“Instead of thinking ‘Why is he telling me to do this?’ he knows what he’s talking about so do it," said Knuth. "Sometimes it’s bad. Sometimes it messes with my game, but usually for the most part I play a lot better when he’s around.”

If Knuth can stay in form and the rest of the Vikings can hit their chips and putts, Cameron may just take one step closer to his dad.

“I have some big shoes to fill, but I want to try and get us back on top of the NIC-10," Cameron said. "I think that’s an ultimate goal for these guys and for me.”

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