Braves place third at dis­tricts

Five county golfers off to states

The Enterprise - - Sports - By MICHAEL REID mreid@somd­news.com

North Point fresh­man Bai­ley Davis re­ceived about as good an omen as one could ask for in ad­vance of the Dis­trict IV golf tour­na­ment Tues­day at Bre­ton Bay Golf & Coun­try Club in Leonard­town.

Davis won the tour­na­ment by a stroke when she carded an even-par 71 on the 5,022yard women’s course.

“I was pretty con­sis­tent the en­tire time, no truly bad holes which I think kept me steady,” said Davis, who was the top fin­isher in the Charles County tour­na­ment with a 69. “I mostly stayed even al­most the en­tire time, but I could have made more putts. I was pretty close, but they just weren’t drop­ping, but I wasn’t too stressed about it.”

“She started the sea­son kind of slow, but she ad­justed to the pace of play and she’s come out real well,” said North Point head coach Chuck Skinner, who first saw Davis play when she shot a 35 in a prac­tice round. “I’m happy that she’s coming to a good crescendo now [in the post­sea­son].”

And that omen? Just a hole-in-one dur­ing a prac­tice round at Bre­ton Bay last Satur­day when she aced the 115yard, par-3 No. 5.

“I stepped up with my 50 wedge and I took two prac­tice swings and was like ‘No,’ so I went back to my bag and got my pitch­ing wedge and short­ened up my swing and it went in,” said Davis, who is also the set­ter on the Ea­gles’ var­sity volleyball team. “I was so ex­cited. To­day I was like, ‘I’m prob­a­bly not go­ing to get another one,’ but I parred [that hole] so it was good.”

“A cou­ple of guys were play­ing, so they let her play through and then [af­ter she made the shot] they were, ‘Well that was quick,’” Skinner said. “That was kind of cool, but I was chastis­ing her about wast­ing a hole-in-one.”

North­ern (304) won the team ti­tle and qual­i­fied for the Class 4A-3A state tour­na­ment af­ter fin­ish­ing 33 strokes ahead of run­ner-up Hunt­ing­town.

“It’s a hard game to play and you never know or can’t count on what you did last week or yes­ter­day, so it’s great for them to come out and work hard,” North­ern head coach Mickey Nor­folk said. “I’m proud of the team. We had some goals and we set them up to do well to­day and they hung with it. It’s al­ways nice to go to the [state tour­na­ment at the] Univer­sity of Mary­land.”

North­ern was led by its four­some of Ed­die Cof­fren — who was a shot back of Davis at 82 — as well as Johnna Par­lett (73), El­iz­a­beth Cof­fren (76) and An­drew Younkers (83).

“I played pretty good to­day,” said Ed­die Cof­fren, a fresh­man. “I had some two- and

three-putts, but over­all my ball strik­ing was bet­ter and my drives off the tee were good. I didn’t worry about the pres­sure or any­thing, I just played golf.”

“Con­sid­er­ing how I shot on the first hole I felt like I kept my emo­tions in check and I did fairly well,” Par­lett said of start­ing off with a dou­ble-bo­gey. “Maybe it was nerves, but af­ter that I just calmed down and played my game.”

More headed to states

The Hur­ri­canes will send Cade Ni­chols (78) and Akhil Pa­tel (86), who qual­i­fied for the girls, to the state tour­na­ment.

“I was hit­ting the driver pretty well and the 3-wood, so I was happy with that,” said Ni­chols, who played two prac­tice rounds at Bre­ton Bay. “I knew I needed to stay in it [men­tally] and work on the shot in front of me.”

Chop­ti­con (338) placed third over­all and qual­i­fied three golfers for the state tour­na­ment; DJ Lit­tle­ford and Josh Gat­ton (78) and Ben Fowler (79).

“My first nine wasn’t good. I just had a few bad shots and it put me in tough po­si­tions, but I just fought through it,” said Gat­ton, whose best hole was the 376-yard, par-4 No. 12. “I hit a drive down the cen­ter of the fair­way and my sec­ond shot I hit a pitch­ing wedge to the left side of the green and drained a 50-footer for birdie.”

La Plata was fourth with a 340. The War­riors qual­i­fied for the Class 2A-1A state tour­na­ment thanks to Gavin Gan­ter (72), Cameron Tay­lor (84), Lazarus Sut­ton (89) and Jake Glea­son (91).

“We just wanted to try to make birdies, play ag­gres­sive the whole day and just like coach said, “Grip it and rip it,’” Gan­ter said. “I’ve been strug­gling a lit­tle bit this sea­son and haven’t played my best, but I came out strong to­day.”

North Point (350) and Patux­ent (383) fin­ished fifth and sixth, re­spec­tively. Leonard­town and Thomas Stone (392) tied for sev­enth.

“To­day was def­i­nitely a strug­gle,” said Leonard­town’s Ryan Sohne, who qual­i­fied with an 80. “[It all started] when I started on the wrong hole and had to play catch-up. I don’t think I started to get back into it un­til No. 6 when I just kind of felt I slowed down, calmed down and changed out my ball.

Great Mills (405) and Calvert (435) were ninth and 10th, re­spec­tively, and Lackey, West­lake, and McDonough did not field enough golfers for a team score. St. Charles did not have a team this year.

Not go­ing to states

North Point’s Trent Tyer will not be re­turn­ing to the state tour­na­ment this year thanks to an act of sports­man­ship. On hole No. 7, Tyer as­sessed him­self a 2-stroke penalty when dur­ing a prac­tice swing he in­ad­ver­tently ground his club and he missed the cut by a stroke.

“It looked like I was sit­ting in per­fect rough with a per­fect lie and a per­fect op­por­tu­nity,” Tyer said. “I was think- ing birdie all the way and then af­ter I took the prac­tice swing and made a lit­tle bit of a divot, I looked over and saw the red haz­ard stake so I called the penalty on my­self. There was no doubt I was go­ing to call it. Not at all. The most im­por­tant thing for me is hon­esty and keep­ing my dig­nity out there so I can go home in good con­science.”

“He called him­self out on it and I’m proud of him,” Skinner said. “I would have liked to have seen him go [to states] his se­nior year, but to me it’s even more ma­ture to make that call. He could have done any num­ber of things, but he did the right thing.”

STAFF PHOTO BY MICHAEL REID

Chop­ti­con’s Josh Gat­ton taps in for par on his way to shoot­ing a state-qual­i­fy­ing 78, the same as team­mates DJ Lit­tle­ford and Ben Fowler, at the Dis­trict IV golf tour­na­ment on Tues­day at Bre­ton Bay Golf & Coun­try Club in Leonard­town.

STAFF PHOTOS BY MICHAEL REID

Above left, Leonard­town’s Ryan Sohne sends a shot onto the green on his way to a state-qual­i­fy­ing score of 80. Above right, Ja­son Al­mond of Great Mills chips to­ward the hole on his way to a state-qual­i­fy­ing 77 dur­ing the Dis­trict IV tour­na­ment on Tues­day at Bre­ton Bay Golf & Coun­try Club in Leonard­town.

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