Cowan considers himself blessed

Andrew Cowan’s team of four enjoyed a good round of golf Friday, carding a 75.

But as it turned out, a 71 was the winning score for flight A of the annual Dave Couch Golf Tournament at the Parkersburg Country Club.

“Didn’t make enough putts,” said the 41-year-old Cowan, a State Farm agent in Harrisville. “But that’s just golf for everybody, right?”

Cowan paused.

“It’s for a good cause,” he continued. “My dad, I know, thought a lot of Dave Couch.”

Couch died of ALS (Amyhthropic Lateral Sclerosis) or Lou Gehrig’s disease 17 years ago.

Tom Cowan, Andrew’s father, suffered from brain cancer, and died at his home in Ritchie County after a nine-year battle in early January of 2012.

The younger Cowan’s golf group also included David Roach, Stormy See, and Alex Roach.

“For me, my competitive outlet is golf, playing against myself,” Cowan said. “You play the course and you think.”

Cowan actually learned about the game at a young age.

“My grandmother taught me to play (golf) when I was 5-years-old at North Bend,” Cowan recalled. “Grandma liked to play, and I wanted to please Grandma. So, I did.”

As Cowan got older, bigger, stronger, and faster, though, golf kind of took a backseat to football, basketball, and track.

At Ritchie County in the mid-1990s, he was a 3-sport standout. In football, he quarterbacked the Rebels to the playoffs; in basketball, he was 1,000-point career scorer; and in track, he was a leg on some pretty fast relay teams.

In 2011, Cowan was inducted into the Mid-Ohio Valley Hall of Fame.

After graduating from Ritchie, Cowan was good enough to play football at the NCAA Division I level at Marshall University. There, he served as a backup signal caller to Chad Pennington and Byron Leftwich, both of whom went on to compete in the National Football League.

Really, not until after his football days at Marshall did Cowan get back into golf on a more regular basis.

“I’m trying to talk my 13-year-old son (Atley) in being a golfer, because that’s what I like, now,” Cowan said. “But football is what he likes.”

So, of course, does Cowan. After Marshall, he was a football assistant for Mike Dawson at RC for five years. And, this upcoming fall, he’s planning to be a volunteer assistant at Jackson Middle School in Vienna.

“My son plays quarterback, but I’m going to coach the offensive line,” Cowan said. “That way, Atley can do his thing.”

Cowan paused.

“That way,” he continued, “we can still have a dad-son relationship.”

Cowan explained.

“I was a very blessed kid,” he said. “I went to school every day with my dad.

“The only downside is that I didn’t go home with my dad.”

Cowan laughed.

“You know, I never played line in my life, but I understand the concept,” he said. “I look at coaching youth as a building block. We’re going to build a house, and the first thing is building the foundation.”

Right now, while Cowan and his family reside in Vienna, he works in Harrisville.

“I drive everyday back to my roots,” he said. “I love Ritchie County and as long as I ever live, I will say no matter what happens I am from Smithville, W.Va., in Ritchie County. That’s home to me. It’ll always be home. My mom lives there.

“But I’m not going to disrupt my children’s life and their education. My wife and kids are happy (in Vienna).”

Cowan’s wife and 7-year-old daughter have also expressed an interest in golf.

“I like that,” he said, smiling. “The only thing I can’t teach them is how to play golf, though.”