“When Walker Valley, Bradley and Cleveland get together it’s always a tough match,” commented coach Bob Williams, whose Mustang squads were able to gallop to close victories over their county rivals.
Seniors Corey Evans and Clark Melton both broke par to lead Walker Valley’s boys to a 149 total, while Jordan Whitmire did the same for Bradley, which posted a 156 total. Conner Caprara shot even par to pace Cleveland’s 163 tally.
In the girls action, Avery George, who has committed to Middle Tennessee, and Bearette Sloane Rakestraw shared low-medalist honors with 2-over-par 38s, but the girls from the north side claimed an 82-93 victory. Cleveland’s No. 1 player had to withdraw due to illness, leaving just one Lady Raider to finish.
Bradley and Cleveland will return to the links today with a 4 p.m. match against District 5-AAA rival Soddy-Daisy at the Valleybrook course in Hixson.
Walker Valley will prepare for its annual trip to the Cookeville Invitational on Monday, before the three county teams square off again Tuesday at Cleveland Country Club.
Showing why they are their team’s No. 1s, the threesome of Evans, Whitmire and Caprara blistered the sweltering Chatata Valley front nine for a combined 3-under par total.
For the second time in as many days, Evans captured the medalist honors with a 2-under 34, while Whitmire was right on his heels with a 1-under 35.
On most any other day Caprara’s 36 would have gotten him his second medal in as many days, but the sophomore actually had the fourth best score of the day as Melton posted a 1-under 35 playing in a threesome of No. 2s.
Garrett Cantrell and Jack Kilby rounded out Walker Valley’s winning score with a 39 and a 41.
“Corey and Clark are so steady for us and are going to be competing for medalist honors on any given day. Garrett and Jack came through with good scores to help us break 150,” coach Williams praised. “We had a lot of people (fans) out watching the match today and that helped make it a lot of fun.”
Senior Hunter Chastain helped out the Bear cause with a 3-over 39, while teammates Chase Montgomery and Matt Whitmire carded 41s.
Cleveland’s tally included a 40 from Rylan Parker, a 43 from Carson Griffin and Zach Barringer’s 44.
“It’s always a pretty competitive match when we three get together,” Williams commented. “Jordan (Whitmire) looks like he’s improved a lot and Cleveland’s No. 1 (Caprara) really looked strong.”
Getting into their first action of the new season, George and Rakestraw looked in top form, battling each other stroke for stroke.
“Avery was 4-under at one point but then hit into some of the debris left by the tornadoes near the No. 4 green,” Williams related. “We searched and found several balls, but none of them were hers. She had to take a two-stroke lost ball penalty and ended up with a triple bogey on the hole.”
“It’s one of those things that you hate to see, especially since she was having such a good round and was on one of her finishing holes,” the coach added.
Rakestraw was able to take advantage of the situation and finished strong to match the three-time TSSAA state tournament participant and U.S. Junior Amateur qualifier.
George got support from teammates Katie Bishop and Brittani Pederson, who had matching 44s to give the Lady Mustangs their second and third district victories of the week.
Kierstyn Blair fired a 55 to round out the Bradley scoring.
Megan Kalb posted a 54 for Cleveland’s lone score after Heidi Barringer, who had the Lady Raider low medalist honors the day before, had to withdraw.
highlights 3-under 32
VONORE — The Polk County golf teams had mixed results in a three-team match Wednesday at the Rarity Bay Golf Course, despite the impressive play of No. 1 players Lydia Triplett and Evan Ball.
Triplett holed an eagle on her way to a 3-under par 32 to lead the Lady Wildcats to a pair of victories over District 5-AA rivals McMinn Central and Sequoyah and a 4-1 mark on the young season.
Emily Massengill carded a 51 to go with Triplett’s tremendous total, giving the Lady Wildcats an 83 total and a 20-stroke victory. Sequoyah posted a 103 tally, while McMinn Central shot 110.
Ball claimed his third medalist honors of the young season with an even-par 35, but the Wildcats slipped to 2-3 on the season, dropping both Wednesday.
Jake Burrows added a 44, Ryan Droke had a 46 and Cameron Bean a 47 as the Wildcats posted a 172.
McMinn Central won the boys’ match with a 158, while the host Sequoyah squad carded a 164.