Around his hometown, Vernon golfer Brady Stead is known for helping coach his former high school team, the Vernon Panthers, for officiating hockey and raising money for charity and research.
Now, his fellow students at Victoria’s Camosun College know it too.
Stead, 21, recently won the school’s prestigious President’s Cup award for his outstanding achievements in academics and athletics.
A fourth year marketing major, Stead earned an 8.5 grade point average to achieve top academic status among the college’s student-athletes.
On the golf course, Stead finished in the top-10 on the PACWEST Order Of Merit, and helped the Chargers to a pair of silver medal finishes at the PACWEST provincial and CCAA national golf championships.
“The President’s Cup means a lot to me,” said Stead, now home and back working for a second summer at The Rise.
“I’ve come a long way with my golf game and with school. I was a young guy out of high school when I came to Victoria and didn’t really know much about what was going on (with school) but I figured it out.”
Stead started out in athletics wanting to be a hockey player. It wasn’t until he got a junior membership at Hillview Golf Course one summer that golf quickly became an obsession.
“My mom (Sandy Spinks) would drop me off at the course on her way to work, I’d play all day, then she’d pick me up on her way home,” said Stead, a left-hander who carries a 0 handicap.
“That’s where I really began to play a lot, then I got a junior membership at Vernon (Golf and Country Club).”
Over the past four years, Stead has fine-tuned his game under the tutelage of Camosun head coach John Randle, a big fan of Stead.
“He’s a great kid and a super guy to have on the team,” said Randle. “As a golfer, he’s a hard worker. That’s how he’d define himself and how the other guys on the team would describe him. He’s built himself into a great player over the last two or three years by putting in the work.”
Stead saved one of his best rounds of the season for the last 18 holes of the provincial colleges’ qualifying tournament at the Okanagan Golf Course in Kelowna.
Stead shot 2-under par over the final six holes, and his teammates were 6-under over those last six holes, to rally and beat UBC Okanagan by one shot to earn a berth to the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association’s national finals in Quebec City.
“We all get along so well,” said Stead of Chargers teammates Scott Merriam (Cranbrook), Matt Matheson (West Vancouver), Michael Flegel (Moose Jaw), Jarred Callbeck (Victoria), Brett Devries (Kelowna) and Grant Maskiewich (Smithers). “We showed a lot of heart in that final round.”
Stead will return to Camosun in the fall to finish the five classes he needs for his degree, and will play again with the Chargers in the spring of 2016.
“We’re thrilled to have him back,” said Randle. “The nationals will be in B.C. at a course most of the guys know really well (Chilliwack Golf Club).”
After college, Stead may go to Europe for a year to work and learn how to play golf “the way it is supposed to be played,” he said. “Links style.”
Stead credits his parents and his former high school coach for giving him the chance to pursue the sport he loves.
“My mom and dad (Dave Stead), I can’t thank them enough for all the opportunities I had growing up,” he said. “They gave me a chance to do what I’m doing now.
“And I have to thank Rick Spiller. We had some pretty good times and I became good friends with Rick and the guys on the VSS team. We made provincials for the first time since (former VSS Panther and PGA Tour golfer) Chris Baryla did it 12 years before me.”