By R. Alan Richardson
The Morgan County golf teams finished up the final spring sports event this week with a strong showing in the State Tournament. The girls and boys had one of their finest showings in history by finishing fifth and sixth respectively.
Coach Pam Hooten applauded her team’s effort saying, “We knew going in that we did not have the low scores needed to win the state tournament, so we went in with a team challenge of finishing in the top seven. There are usually about 15 teams at the state tournament so we wanted to finish in the top half. This year there were 13 teams and we finished fifth! It was a great accomplishment for the girls to just be at the state tournament. It was an added bonus to finish FIFTH!”
The best finish ever for the girls, according to Hooten, was in 2011 when they finished third and then back in 2005 when they grabbed the fourth place trophy. Senior Madison Walley again led the team with a sixth place overall individual finish shooting 88-84 over the two-day event. Paige Carroll (Sr.), Maitlin Stapp (Jr.), and Haylee Patterson (Jr.) rounded out the top four scores and the final total of 295-296 for the team. “Seniors Emily Finck and Morgan Sarkin did not play in the top four, but will be missed when they graduate,” said the head coach.
She continued, “We struggled as a team on both days. Not playing a match since the area tournament on April 23rd was a big factor. We had some different competitions among ourselves, but that did not give the girls the competition of a match. Thus, they didn’t take it as seriously.
Madison Walley will be heading out to Texas. She has a scholarship to play at East Texas Baptist University. I wish Madison the best of luck in her college golf career! Paige Carroll, Morgan Sarkin, and Emily Finck will all be heading to college, but will not be playing golf. We will greatly miss this year’s seniors. They were great leaders and an inspiration to all of the younger players. I am proud of the girls for all of the hard work and all that they have accomplished this year! I am thankful as a coach to have girls as wonderful as these! They were truly a blessing to me!”
In his final hurrah as the boys’ golf coach, Josh Reeves led his team to another great season. He said, “Day one was pretty rough on everyone. We had the later tee times and we felt the heat literally and figuratively. The tournament was played at Cateechee in Hartwell again and the course played increasingly harder under tournament conditions. It felt like the Open Championship with our guys hitting out of three-foot high, wet rough. It seems like every one of our guys had one blow up hole whether it was a 6 or a 16. The course was hard and I don’t think the greens held one approach shot all day.”
Day one totals were: Landon Breedlove 83, Bailey Smith 83, Jared Sanders 89, Noah Brown 91, Barrett Adams 106, and Josh Talevski 124
“The second day was better for us all. We had earlier tee times and the course was softer and the boys responded with much better scores. With one tough hole, Breedlove led the way with a 78 but it felt more like a 68. He played well the whole day but had one hole that got the best of him. Smith finished his high school career with a birdie shooting an 82. Brown shot his low tournament score of an 84 and played great. Talevski bettered his Monday score by about 30 shots and finished with a 98. Jared shot a 91 and Barrett had another tough day with a 105.
All in all we finished 6th overall in the state and Landon finished 15th overall as an individual. It was a great year for the guys. Our young guys played so well all year and are set up to be really good for the years to come.”