Cleveland High’s golf teams may be the last local squads to get started, but they opened the 2014 TSSAA campaign in impressive fashion Tuesday.
Hosting Bradley Central and Ooltewah in a tri-match at the Cleveland Country Club, both of Coach Nick Cantrell’s teams notched a pair of victories — the Blue Raiders plundered the competition by 45 strokes, while the Lady Raiders shot 7-over-par team score out distance their nearest competitor by 16 swings.
“I can't complain much when the highest score that I take is a 42, especially for the first match of the year,” commented Coach Cantrell. “We always want to continue to get better as the year continues, and try to peak at the right time.”
The Lady Raiders got a good sign for the future as freshman Rheagan Hall shot even par for the best half round of the day (male or female) in her first-ever high school match.
The CHS girls finished with an impressive 79 as senior Heidi Barringer, who qualified for the TSSAA state tournament last fall, shot a 43.
The Bearettes carded a 95 and the Lady Owls had just one player finish the nine-hole match.
“I have high expectations for my girls team. Heidi and Rheagan have a lot of talent and are very capable of putting low scores together,” Coach Cantrell praised. “For a freshman (Hall) to go out and shoot a 36 in her first high school match is impressive, to say the least. She has played really well this summer.”
Bradley freshman MaKenzie Randolph led the way for the Black-and-Gold with a 47, while sophomore Olivia Williams was right behind her with a 48.
In the boys’ battle, the Raiders fired a 160 team tally, while the Bears shot 205 and the Owls 229.
Sophomore Cade Caprara took low-medalist honors with a 1-over 37. “Cade Caprara led the way for my boys. He has put a lot of hard work in on the range and the course over the last month, and it showed today with a 37,” remarked Coach Cantrell.
Junior Tucker Jones posted a 4-over 40, while freshman Drew Linkous and sophomore Allen Swetman rounded out the Raider score with a 41 and 42 respectively.
Bailey Timmons topped the Bear effort with a 45, while Tyler Parris was just two strokes back at 47. Matt Maynard helped out with a 53, with both Kyle Brogdon and Jake Durgin carding 57s.
Walker Valley will entertain Ooltewah this afternoon at the Chatata Valley course.
Cleveland will play host to Soddy-Daisy Thursday at CCC, while Bradley will travel to Niota to take on McMinn County and the Owls.