It all began at an interview in March 1987. Carolyn Sparks was meeting Mr. Bill Spoone, the principal of the soon to be opened new high school to discuss a teaching position. Mr. Spoone asked Carolyn if she had any talent besides teaching to contribute to the new school. Carolyn thought quickly and responded, “I think this new school should have a girl’s golf team.”
Winners is Carolyn Sparks memoirs as a coach of a record-setting high school girl’s golf team that claimed Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Country Club as its home course. Winners shows how high-school girls at Dr. Phillips High School through discipline, dedication and practice became state champions, not once, but twice back-to-back. It is with humor and insight, that Carolyn Sparks shares her experiences as the winning high school coach. Her seasons of coaching won recognition and scholarships for the girls and two-time State Coach of the Year for her. To truly make this no small feat, Carolyn’s mother died of cancer and Carolyn dealt with a serious personal illness during this time. (taken or adapted from Winners: Memoirs by Carolyn Sparks by Carolyn Sparks, 2008).
LISTEN (14:18) September 9, 2009
The first girl’s golf team at Dr. Phillips High School in 1988. From left to right – Chi Song, Laurie Hightower, Dana Booth, Maureen Coley, Coach Sparks, Valicia Rugerio, Amy Camplain, and Gibb Deeying.
Florida State Champions of 1993. Back row from left to right – Coach Sparks, Lauren Mellen, Kathy Cypherd and Jennifer Close. Front row from left to right – Kristin Close and Adrienne Bailey.
Back-to-back State Champions! The team of 1994.
1994 Coach of the Year
Interview with Carolyn Sparks, author of Winners: Memoirs by Carolyn Sparks who discusses her experience of being coach of the first girls' golf team in an Orange County public school at Dr. Phillips High School from 1987-1997. Conducted by Sandy Mayer, Librarian at Southwest Library in Orlando on September 9, 2009. Interview was held at the Southwest Library at Dr. Phillips.