South Christian mourns loss of coach, heads to finals

Golf   | Jeff Chaney

South Christian mourns loss of coach, heads to finals

Byron Center - In a sport as serious as golf, Rod VanDyke liked to keep it light with his girls.

The Grand Rapids South Christian girls golf coach would always be the first one to make one of his Sailors smile after a rough day on the course, whether it be with one of his many jokes, or the loud pants he would wear to most matches - pants that would make flamboyant PGA professional John Daly proud.

Smiles stopped on October 7 when Mr. VanDyke was struck by a car and killed while riding his bike to South Christian High School, where he also served as a teacher.

That was a somber day at the high school because many students loved the math teacher with a great sense of humor. But it was particularly hard for his team, because it happened one day before the Sailors were to compete in the Division 3 regional at Diamond Springs Golf Course in Hamilton.

Aside from dealing with all the grief the school was going through, a decision by school administrators was made to have the team compete in regional - it was a decision welcomed by the team, because that is how they were coached.

"When I heard the news, the first thing I thought of was we have regionals tomorrow, what are we going to do," senior Rachel Theule said. "Then the