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Golf Tournament Saturday Raises Money, Honors Phillips

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Golf Tournament Saturday Raises Money, Honors Phillips

A fundraiser for the Cookeville High School Football team has turned into an opportunity to remember a benefactor of local sports.

The idea for the tournament started last year when Head Coach Taylor Henningan came to former Tech player Sam Brooks with the idea of a tournament. They decided to work on the idea for a year and launch it in 2023.

Then, came the death of local businessman Ottis Phillips.

“He has just been someone they can lean on year after year, both Cookeville High School and Tennessee Tech,” Brooks said. “And you know recently passed away suddenly. You know, was the picture of health and just not someone you thought would go quickly like that.”

After discussing the idea with Phillips’ daughter Kristie, Brooks said Saturday’s tournament will be named the Cookeville High School Football Ottis Phillips Memorial Golf Tournament. The four-man scramble will tee off Saturday morning at 9am at the Tech Golf Club.

“It’s just a testament to what this meant to him,” Brooks said. “There’s focal points in folks’ lives that have made a big difference. And one for him, and I’ve heard this story several times is what football meant to him. And really at that point in his life, when he needed structure, being a football player just meant the world to him. And he really feels like sports gave him the foundation he needed to be successful in life.”

Brooks said all the money raised will go directly to Cookeville High School football. He said there is no doubt that Ottis Phillips would have wanted others to continue his fundraising efforts. Brooks said the field house, which bears Ottis Phillips name, is just a testament to his belief and support of those two programs and what it meant to his life.

“Him and Ralph Mullins was just huge in pulling that together and raising funds from our community to build that entire field house,” Brooks said. “It was done completely from donated funds.”

Brooks said the money will assist the football program with future needs, such as uniform or equipment purchases, based on their needs.


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