One match was canceled Tuesday and tee times in another were pushed to an evening start.
Walker Valley was scheduled to open its golf season against the Ooltewah Owls Tuesday at The Champions Course in Ooltewah. Because that golf course’s greens are being threatened by the heat, the match was moved to The Bear Trace Golf Course at Harrison Bay State Park.
However, with the heat index over 106 by mid-afternoon, Ooltewah coach Mike McCullough and Walker Valley’s Bob Williams decided to cancel the match.
A second Tuesday match, featuring Polk County against Silverdale Baptist Academy, faced the same heat restrictions in midafternoon. A decision was made to delay the match’s start time until 6 p.m.
Coach Jason Adams’ Wildcats scored their first team victory of the young season, beating Silverdale 175 to 194. The golfers received an added treat as they were allowed to use golf carts because of the heat.
This match was originally scheduled for today at Chatata Valley Golf Course, but moved up a day and to Harrison Bay.
Coach Adams was pleased with the victory and the continued improvement of his young golfers. “We don’t have a senior on the team,” he emphasized after play was completed.
Polk County had dropped its opening match of the season, losing by two strokes to Boyd-Buchanan. The Wildcats followed up with a so-so performance in the McMinn County Cherokee Classic Monday at Springbrook Golf and Country Club in Niota.
Junior No. 1 player Evan Ball once again led Polk County with an erratic 40 for medalist honors. Ball’s Tuesday round included three double bogeys and a bogey, but he offset the mistakes with three birdies.
His 4-over-par 40 was three strokes better than Silverdale’s Taylor Tittle’s 43.
What was most pleasing to coach Adams was that he saw some definite improvement in the scores of his No. 2 through No. 6 players. Jake Burrow, another junior, had a 44, sophomore Tanner Raby added a 45 and freshman Ryan Droke recorded a 46 in the Polk County win.
“It’s going to be a battle for us this season,” continued Adams. “We don’t have a solid No. 2 player, although Jake (Burrows) is showing some improvement.” Other Polk County players are freshman Michael Rongey and junior Cameron Bean. This is Bean’s first year on the team.
Adams anticipates his inexperienced players will be jockeying for position throughout the season for the No. 2 through No. 6 spots. “I told them they’ll have to fight for their positions,” he said. “AA teams have a very short season this year (due to the TSSAA golf calendar) and I can take only five players to the district tournament Sept. 12,” the Wildcats’ coach emphasized.
Adams said the short season rotates each year between different classes. “Next year, AAA teams, like Walker Valley, will have the short season. The following year it will be the private schools,” he said.
The Polk County girls, Lydia Triplett and Emily Massengill, were also victorious Tuesday, although their scores were not as good as usual. Triplett led the way with her medalist score of 47, while Massengill had a 58.
Coach Adams and his Wildcats will continue their season next Tuesday, traveling to the Lake Haven Golf Course to play Meigs County.