Cardinals Win District Golf Crown
CAVE SPRINGS — The 2018 District 4A-1 boys golf championship belongs to Farmington with the Cardinals edging out Shiloh Christian by one stroke Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018, at “The Creeks” in Cave Springs.
Farmington’s team score was 249 followed by Shiloh Christian with 250. Farmington’s varsity team is made up of four freshmen, who all shot well: Rhett South, 70; Landon Lawson, 82; Clayton Antwine, 97; and Dakota Bogan, 101. South finished No. 1 in the field.
Farmington upstaged the defending state champion Saints coached by Ron Somers. Shiloh Christian won the 4A boys golf championship in both 2016 and 2017. Three members of last year’s team graduated, but with three state titles in four years the Saints have taken their program to a very competitive level. Ben Fowler returned from last year’s team.
“Rhett was the medalist,” said Farmington coach Randy Osnes, who first learned of South’s skill level three years ago during a conversation with the boy’s dad.
Tournament play began at 9 a.m.
and temperatures rose quickly. By 11:15 a.m. the thermometer had risen to 85. South said the heat combined with competition of playing for state tournament qualification generated an impact.
“It was pretty tiring, it was more mentally tiring than anything. It made you drink a lot of water,” South said. “My goal was to just let all the practice pay off. I’ve practiced my entire life to be the best and it finally paid off for me.”
Gravette coach Bryan Bearden noticed the added stress a few holes into the course, noting his boys: Keegan Bulza, freshman; Braxton Muldoon, freshman; Jesse Frye, sophomore; and Michael Duke, freshman; were taking on the challenge.
“They’re fighting, but they’re playing well,” Bearden said. “It’s still early. Golf is a tough game. It’s tough on anybody.”
In addition to the top two teams, four individual boys golfers qualified for state: Harrison Cato, of Pea Ridge, shot a 78; Muldoon finished with an 84 for the Lions; Jared Swope, of Pea Ridge, had a 91; and Rusty Colbert, of Berryville, shot a 93.
Gentry sophomore Clancy Milam was the only boy participating for Gentry.
“There is no leaderboard, you just play the best you can and it works out the way it works out,” Osnes said. “It worked out pretty well for us today. I’m very happy for these young men, as young as they are, to accomplish what they’ve done as freshmen.”
The quartet achieved their team goal to make it to state as freshmen playing high school golf.
“It’s a big deal, we all came out here with a mindset we knew what we wanted to do,” Bogan said. “At the end of the day we accomplished our goal.”
Antwine attributed teamwork and mutual support to the winning effort.
“It feels good knowing they always have my back on the course and that if I play bad they’ll back me up,” Antwine said. “It’s a team sport and we won it together. When we win, we win as a team.”
Now they have qualified for state, the boys set their eyes on an even bigger objective.
“The goal for state, obviously, is to go win it,” Lawson said. “As for a team score anything under a 240 would be our goal. I think that would get us up there pretty good.”
Even as they celebrated during the awards presentation, the Cardinals were already contemplating what measures to take to trim strokes off their team score.
“We all have weaknesses, but we just need to work on those and make them our strengths going into state,” Bogan said.
High school golf doesn’t draw many spectators, but Bogan acknowledged the mentorship of Osnes and parents.
“Coach Osnes is the man, he’s very supportive along with all the parents,” Bogan said. “The parents, they are the biggest support line.”
State Boys 4A golf will be held at the Sage Meadows Golf Course in Jonesboro on Tuesday, Oct. 2. Driving distance from Farmington following U.S. 412 and U.S. 62 is 261 miles with a projected drive time of five hours and 15 minutes along the two-lane highways.
“Our main goal, of course, would be to win state,” South said. “We want to play our best and see what happens. To win it definitely would be a dream come true.”
Harrison won the 4A-1 girls district golf title in their first season since dropping down from the 5A West. The Lady Goblins compiled a 290 team score; while Gravette’s girls team of Lizzie Ellis, sophomore; Keeley Bulza, senior; Brooke Deihl, sophomore; and Tia Burger, sophomore, were the district runner-up with 324, which qualified them for state.
Katelyn Swope, of Pea Ridge, shot a 79 to become the girls medalist. Berryville’s McKayla Hussey shot an 80 to place second. Emma Cox, of Huntsville, and McKayla Hammonds, of Pea Ridge, each finished with a 101. Cox beat Hammonds in a playoff for the No. 3 spot.
The Lady Pioneers were able to compete with a threegirl team of senior Lauren Folger combined with freshmen Cora Bass and Bailey Lemke, but didn’t have a good outing. The Gentry girls finished in the lower tier of the standings.
“We didn’t do very well,” said Gentry coach Tim Fulks.
Farmington freshman Bailey Cuzick is the only girl out for the Lady Cardinals. She shot a 110 at district.
“It was a good year, it was funny, since I was the only girl, hanging out with the guys all the time, but it was a lot of fun,” Cuzik said.
Her goal for next year is to shoot under 100, become a better golfer all-around, and get more girls to come out for the team.
The Farmington High School boys golf team coached by Randy Osnes won the 4A-1 District championship on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018 at “The Creeks” golf course at Cave Springs. From left: Trenton Sisco, sophomore; Wesley Bridges, sophomore; Clayton Antwine, freshman; Landon Lawson, freshman, Rhett South, freshman (medalist); Dakota Bogan, freshman; Cody Ballard, sophomore; and Jonathan Brye, junior.
Farmington freshman Bailey Cuzik was the only girl to come out for golf this season. She shot a 110 at the District 4A-1 golf meet held Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018, at “The Creeks” golf course at Cave Springs.