State bound. Cameron Bruce and Shelby Johnson, pictured above with WCHS golf coach, Eric Mitchell, earned berths in the Class AAA state golf tournament with their play in the Region 3AAA tournament at Riverwatch on Thursday.
The White County High School golf team kept its state tournament streak alive last week.
Shelby Johnson and Cameron Bruce both earned berths in the Class AAA State Tournament making it four consecutive years that WCHS will have a representative in the big show. The winning team from the Region 3AAA tournament played Thursday at Riverwatch Golf Course along with the low four finishers not on that team advanced on to the state.
It was a beautiful day for golf down on Center Hill Lake, but the wind proved a little challenging at times. A tournament field that consisted of six girls’ and six boys’ teams as well as 20 more individual qualifiers descended on the course located just across the DeKalb County line. A pair of WCHS golfers was able to navigate their way around the challenging course and earn sports in the state.
Johnson will be making her second straight appearance in the state tournament. The junior shot a 79 and finished second overall in the region just two strokes behind medalist Hannah Powell from Warren County.
The Lady Pioneers won the region earning the team spot in the state. That gave Johnson the low score for the individual qualifiers.
Johnson’s score of 79 coupled with a solid 90 from Melaney Payne allowed the Warriorettes to finish second in the region. They finished with a 169 and Warren County checked in with a 161. WCHS was ten strokes better than third place finisher Walker Valley.
Kate Ferguson also played for WCHS shooting a 98.
The Powell sisters shot a 77 and 84 for Warren County to take the title.
The girls’ individual qualifiers are: Shelby Johnson 79 (White County), Samantha Griffith 82 (Ooltewah), Heidi Barringer 83 (Cleveland) and Anna Cunningham 84 (Cookeville).
On the boys’ side of things, the Warriors just narrowly missed having two golfers qualify for the state. Cameron Bruce shot a 78 and was the third lowest score among the individual finishers earning one of the spots.
Warrior freshman, Haden Welch, shot an 80, which put him in a three-way tie for the final spot in the state. Also coming in with 80’s were Walker Valley’s Kyle Limburg and East Hamilton’s Tucker Venable.
The three began their playoff on 10. Limburg and Venable both parred the hole. Welch bogeyed eliminating him from the playoff on that hole. The other two continued on to 18. Limburg won the playoff there and earned the final berth in the state.
Cookeville’s boys were the region champs making it a 6AAA sweep of the team spots. They shot a 317, which was 14 strokes better than the second place finisher, East Hamilton.
Cookeville’s Sean Conally was the low medalist for the day shooting a 75. The state individual qualifiers are: Logan Price 76 (Walker Valley), Danny Gleason 76 (Ooltewah), Cameron Bruce 78 (Cameron Bruce) and Kyle Limburg 80 (Walker Valley). Cookeville’s Will Brooks also shot a 78 to finish in the Top 5 overall, but he qualified on the winning team.
Also playing as individuals for WCHS were Tommy Sparkman (89) and Zack Payne (91).
The good news for WCHS is that every single Sparta golfer that competed in the region will be back next season.
WCHS golf coach, Eric Mitchell, commented, “I am so proud of these young men and women for their accomplishments this season and in the tournaments.”
He further added about Riverwatch, “We are so thankful to Riverwatch for all that they did for the district and region tournaments. Thanks to Rob Alexander, Grant Goodwin and all the volunteers for helping out. Everyone down there has bent over backwards to make this the best district and region tournaments. Riverwatch has been terrific to our golf team for a long time. I just can’t say enough about how much they do for White County High School golf.”
The Class AAA state tournament will be played October 8th and 9th at Willowbrook Golf Club. The golfers will have a practice round on Monday, October 7th.