Lion golf teams punch tickets to state tourneys

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Manila advanced to the state tournament for the third year in a row with a third place finish in regional boy's competition Sept. 23 at Sage Meadows Golf Course in Jonesboro.

The Lions shot a team score of 271, finishing 30 strokes behind champion Brookland, who fired a winning score of 241. Harding Academy placed second while Manila edged Rivercrest by one stroke as the Colts finished with a 272 total.

Garrett Scott led the Lions, shooting an 84 to finish fifth in the individual standings. J.J. Helton shot an 87, coming in sixth. Blake Wheeler finished with a 100 while Tracey Reinhart shot a 110.

Brookland's Justin Kidd fired an even par 72 to take home medalist honors. Harding Academy's Lane Dailey finished two shots back, posting a score of 74.

"We have really had a good year," said Manila Coach John Deaton. "This is the third straight year we have qualified for the state tournament. We have a good experienced team that has worked hard all year and has carried on Manila's golf tradition. We are looking forward to this year's state tournament. We placed fifth out of 12 teams in last year's state tournament and hope to do even better this year."

State tournament play begins Monday, Oct. 5, at the River Oaks Golf Course in Searcy.

The Lady Lions, who only had one golfer last season and didn't compete in team competition, also advanced to the state tournament with a third place finish of their own.

The Lady Lions came in with a 391 team total, led by Mikayla Shedd's 117. Taylor Bishop finished with a 124 while Brigette Yancey shot a 150.

Piggott won the team title with a 363 score, led by Allison Gurley, who fired a 106 to take medalist honors.

Micala Beall shot a 115 to lead Rivercrest to a runner-up finish, 12 shots behind champion Piggott. The Lady Colts shot a team total of 375.

"The only player we had last year was Mikayla, who made it to the state tournament as an individual player," said Deaton. "We were able to put together a team this year, and to make it to the state tournament is a great accomplishment for these girls who are participating in their first year of competitive golf. I am very proud of them."

The Lady Lions will start state tournament play Wednesday, Sept. 30, at the Big Creek Country Club in Mountain Home.

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