VIENNA - Jim Ferrell started from ground zero when he joined the Parkersburg Catholic golf team as a freshman.
He had never picked up a club, but by his senior year he was a model of consistency for the Crusaders' program.
"My freshman year was the first time I had been on a golf course," said Ferrell, who recently signed a National Letter of Intent to continue his career on the links for NCAA Division II Wheeling Jesuit University and coach Ed Noll. "I just wanted to keep myself busy. I didn't know anybody, and it was a good way to meet people and make friends."
Prior to entering the high school ranks, Ferrell had concentrated most of his athletic endeavors to football in the Vienna Recreation program. Triple digit scores were not uncommon that initial season.
"When I got him as a freshman, he was green to say the least," said Bill Pugh, who coached golf at Parkersburg Catholic until resigning at the end of last season. "We started with the fundamentals. His swing was decent, but we just slowed him down so he was not trying to kill it all the time."
Under the watchful eye of coach Pugh and the assistance of the late Larry Martin from Callaway Golf, Ferrell eventually improved his game and by his junior year he played a vital role as Parkersburg Catholic advanced to the Class A state tournament.
"I really had a good junior year and that's when I started believing in myself that I could play," Ferrell said.
Ferrell's senior season didn't go as expected as the Crusaders failed to make a return trip to the state tournament.
"I was not exactly as focused and I should have been, and I regret that now," Ferrell admitted. "I'm just thankful to have another opportunity to play again."
Ferrell joins a Wheeling Jesuit squad which placed 13th out of 13 schools at last year's West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships. In order to get ready for the upcoming season, he has spent a majority of the summer improving his short game.
In addition to the friendships he developed along the way, Ferrell commented that one of the things he will miss most about high school golf are the road trips.
"On those car rides, we learned a lot about life and golf those four years," Ferrell said. "Coach Pugh is the only coach who ever really worked with me in golf - everything I've learned in golf is thanks to him."
Ferrell, who also played first base and pitcher for the Parkersburg Catholic baseball team, is the son of Allen and Jane Ferrell. His sister, Amy, is entering her junior year at Parkersburg Catholic. He plans on majoring in a business-related field.