Thursday, May 13, 2010
MA golfers go to state
The Marshall Academy golf team, entering the 2010 campaign, returned four key players from last year’s team that finished second in the North State AA and fourth in the State AA Tournament.
The team holds a lot of promise for yet another good season on the links, coach Russell Cook said in the pre-season.
“We’re looking forward to another great golf season here at Marshall,” he said. “We have four guys coming back on the golf team who played on the team last year, as well as newcomer Kyle Simpson. We’re excited about the potential we have this year.
“We have a very young team with two juniors, a sophomore, a freshman, and a seventh grader. Zack (Pritchett) should win a lot of tournaments on the individual stage and we should be in the running in every tournament as a team.
“I’m excited to see what the kids can accomplish this year.”
The Marshall golf team began the season on March 22 by finishing fourth out of eight teams at the Kirk Academy invitational at The Dogwoods Golf Course in Grenada. Pritchett, a freshman, led the Patriots in the opening tournament by shooting an 11-over par 83 (for his highest round of the year).
The Patriots then moved on the Marshall Academy Invitational held at Kirkwood National. The Patriots slipped just a little and finished fourth out of five teams. However, the Patriots were led by individual low medalist Pritchett, who shot a five-over par 77.
The third tournament of the year for the Patriots brought about their best performance of the regular season. The Patriots travelled to Batesville to participate in the North Delta Invitational at Panola Country Club. The Patriots came away feeling good after shooting an overall team score of 363 to qualify for the North State AA Tournament. The Patriots were once again led by Pritchett, who finished second in a field of over 70 golfers with a score of two-over par 73. Junior Hank Owens turned in his best round of the year with a 12-over par 83. Seventh grader Kyle Simpson became the hero of the day when he turned in a score eight shots lower than what was needed to qualify the team for North State. Junior Taylor Maurey also turned in his lowest round of the year with a 19-over par 90.
“I’m very proud of our guys for getting their score in the qualifying range for the North State tournament,” Coach Cook said. “Zack has had yet another fantastic season with a couple medalist honors. We’ve also seen a great improvement in guys like Michael Farese and Kyle Simpson. Hank Owens and Taylor Maurey have been strong for us, even though they have had a lack of practice time due to tennis and track meets. I’m proud of our guys and we’re looking forward to the post-season.”
With the team qualified for North State AA, the Patriots took to the course to play a nine-hole, after-school match with a few local public schools. Pritchett finished second out of roughly 30 golfers and the Patriot team finished second out of four schools.
The North State AA Golf Tournament was held on Tuesday, April 27, at The Dogwoods in Grenada. The Patriots turned in a day for the record books. As a team, the golfers combined to shoot a season low team score of 349. The Patriots had two golfers turn in the lowest rounds of their season, as well as the lowest rounds of their careers. Sophomore Farese turned in his career lowest round of 102 (in only his second year on the golf team). Pritchett turned in his lifetime lowest round of a five-under par 67, which also set a course record for the men’s tees at The Dogwoods.
“It’s been a great year,” Coach Cook said. “I’ve had a lot of fun. I’m really proud of Zack for what he has accomplished as well as what we have accomplished as a team this year.
Farese, a sophomore, said, “It felt good to play my best round on such a big stage like the North State Tournament.”
By posting a score of 67, Pritchett finished as low medalist (first place) for all individuals at the North State Tournament. This is the second year in a row that Pritchett has won the North State AA individual championship, after winning the tournament as an eighth grader last year.
“Winning the north half two years in a row has been a great experience for me,” Pritchett said. “I’m also really proud of our other guys for playing hard all season and getting our team to the point we are at by playing for a state championship.”
With the team score of 349, the Patriots finished fourth out of eight schools at the North State AA Tournament and advanced to the State AA Championship Tournament Tuesday, May 4 at Briarwood Country Club in Meridian. The State AA Tournament was hosted by Lamar School.
Marshall finished seventh out of eight teams at state. Coach Cook said even though his players did not have their best showing, it was exciting for them to once again compete at that level. He said he is very proud of the Patriots for their excellent season.
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