Good golf and good times equals help for college-bound students at the T.J. Mills-Ricky Seals Memorial Golf Tournament. The Sealy Tiger Booster Club has been sponsoring a scholarship golf tournament for over 30 years which was started by coach T. J. Mills in 1984, his first year as the Sealy football head coach, to assist students who need help to continue their education. This is one of the longest-running endowment scholarship tournaments in Texas.
Coach Mills, with the help of Dave Ellerbe of Mark III, Leroy Zapalac, president of Citizen’s State Bank, and Billy Browne of the Stephen F. Austin Golf Association, set up the scholarship tournament that rewards any graduating senior with a $500 scholarship. In the beginning, there were five scholarships awarded. Today the Booster Club offers 12 scholarships with the hope of increasing the number.
The Booster Club tournament became known as the Ricky Seals Memorial Golf Tournament in 1991, after the death of Ricky Seals, a young, promising athlete and fine individual at Sealy High School. He died in a car accident in 1990 after qualifying for the state track meet in the 100-meter dash earlier that same day. The tournament committee added T.J. Mills’ name to the Memorial tournament in 2015 after his early death in April of that same year.
The tournament will be held at the Stephen F. Austin Golf Club and each year the tournament is supported by many local golfers and businesses for various reasons. Participants include golfers’ friends, parents, former students and some people just come out to enjoy the fun, charity and food. People travel from all over Texas in their acknowledgment to Coach Mills to participate. They come from Rosenberg, Austin, Hondo, Deer Park, Corpus Christi, Bryan, Houston, Brenham, Bellville and a host of many other places. Individual and business sponsors are not only from Sealy but from the surrounding area as well, including Katy, Brenham, Industry and Bellville.
The tournament has always had a scramble format which has changed slightly over the years. It began with 150 players and they played fivesomes. Since then it has changed to three-person scrambles and in the 1990s, it became a two-person scramble. It remained a two-person scramble until 2015 when it changed back to a three-person scramble.
Due to the devastating flood last year, the tournament had to be postponed until October. This year the tournament will again be a three-person scramble and will be played on July 20. It will begin at 8:00 a.m. and 1:30 pm.
Matt Webb, a local businessman, has purchased the course. He has made the much-needed repairs due to the flood damage from the last three years. This tournament will be the first major event since the closing of the course due to Hurricane Harvey.
The course has had a complete overhaul with new tee boxes, re-routed holes and even a new hole. The Sealy Tiger Athletic Booster Club said they are extremely proud to sponsor this
tournament at Stephen F. Austin Golf Club in order to give to Sealy Tiger Athletics and Scholarships.
Everyone is invited to come out to see the new course changes, play some golf and if they cannot play, the Tiger Booster Club welcomes and appreciates any type of door prizes, donations or hole sponsorship towards this scholarship tournament. It is possible to place advertisements on a sign that will be displayed on the course.
Anyone interested in helping or playing in the tournament can contact Billy Norris at 713-502-1677 or at his email: firstname.lastname@example.org.