By Steve Williams
Halls High’s boys golf team lost its 2020 post-season to COVID 19, but responded this year with a second place showing in the TSSAA state tournament.
How’s that for a comeback!
The Red Devils had a 36-hole total of 593 in Division I Class AA and finished just two strokes behind champion Brentwood’s 591 last week on the River Course at the Sevierville Golf Club.
“I am very proud of this team and the perseverance they have shown from last year until now,” said Halls Coach Ashley McGaha. “We weren’t allowed to participate in the district last year due to our school being (a code) red.
“Fortunately, we did not have any upper classmen, so everyone returned, worked really hard and grew even closer together as a team. It’s been a great season and rewarding to see all of that hard work pay off.”
Halls trailed Brentwood by five strokes after the first round but cut three shots off the deficit over the final 18 holes.
Dickson County (600) placed third in the eight-team field.
Ashton Condra led Halls. He tied for the best second round score with a four-under par 68 to finish with a two-under total of 142.
“All of them have played great all season and the post-season was even better,” said McGaha. “To watch our seniors play well was special.”
Condra, a senior, tied for seventh place in the field of 63 players.
Halls’ Ethan Whitaker, a sophomore, had a 72-74-146 to tie for 15th.
Other members of the team included senior Ethan Vincent (73-76-149), junior Bowen Brantley (78-78-156) and senior Jackson Batchellor (79-80-159). The top four scores figure in the team total.
“The weather conditions were tough,” said McGaha. “The course played longer due to the amount of rain it received throughout the week. The TSSAA decided to implement a preferred lie rule (lift, clean and place in your own fairway).”
KAMMANN SECOND: West High’s Carson Kammann missed winning the Division I-AA individual title by one shot. The Rebels’ senior posted an eight-under 67-69-136. Medalist Maddox Crowder of Macon County carded a 66-69-135.
Nick Etherton of William Blount tied for 10th with an even-par 70-74-144. Bearden sophomore Jaden Morrell had a 74-71-145 to tie for 12th.
DIVISION II-AA: Knoxville Catholic’s Harrison Thompson tied for sixth place with a four-under 71-69-140. Webb’s Tate Woodruff shot 74-77-151.
Baylor won the team title with a 557 and Brentwood Academy’s Blades Brown was medalist with a 64-69-133.
DIVISION I-AA GIRLS: Farragut (330) finished seventh in the eight-team field. The girls’ total includes the team’s top two individual scores. Clarksville was the winner with a 303 on the par 70 Highland Course.
For Farragut, Gabrielle Starling shot 84-77-161, Rid Padhye 87-82-169 and Riley Lydon 91-85-176.
Playing as state individual qualifiers, Halls’ Lauren Davis and Bearden’s Sydney Branson tied for 12th place. Davis’ rounds included 81-77-158, while Branson shot 84-74-158. Bailey McGaha of Halls carded a 79-83-162.
BAYLOR SWEEPS: Paula Liano of Baylor fired a one-over 71-70-141 for medalist honors in Division II-AA girls play and led Baylor to the team title with a 291 score.
Webb (355) placed sixth as Palmer Sykes shot 93-83-176 and Caitlin Carroll 90-89-179.
CAK SHINES: The Christian Academy of Knoxville boys won the Division II-A team event Friday with a 593 total. Kaleb Wilson led the Warriors, finishing in a three-way tie for first place with a six-under 71-67-138. Wilson was eliminated on the first playoff hole.
Patton Samuels of Clarksville Academy won low medalist over Luke Sienkiewicz of ECS with a birdie on the second playoff hole.
Other members of the CAK team were sixth place finisher Jackson Hughey (75-72-147), Benjamin Johnston (76-75-151) and Blake Russell (78-79-157).
Cooper Roberts, First Baptist Academy’s first ever qualifier for the state tourney, shot 74-77-151 to tie for eighth.
The CAK girls finished fifth in the six-team field. Alexis Fishel, Anna Claire Gibson and Malerie Taylor made up the team.
Berean Christian’s Emery Fisher, an individual qualifier, finished in 13th place with an 83-81-164.
In the Division I-A girls tourney, Elizabeth Moody of L&N STEM Academy shot 81-88-169 to tie for 13th.