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Gainesville boys, girls top leaderboards in golf Hall County Championships
Red Elephant senior Ralston in position for 4th straight individual title
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Boys Top 10:

1. Spencer Ralston Gainesville 37
2. Drew Lasseter Gainesville 38
T3. Ryan Hogan Gainesville 39
T3. Brennan Manson North Hall 39
T3. Tanner Merck Flowery Branch 39
T3. Cody Smith Johnson 39
T3. JP Gibson Johnson 39
T8. Nick Stackis Chestatee 40
T8. Davis Weaver Gainesville 40
T10. Brody Simmons Gainesville 41
T10. Bartley Forrester North Hall 41
T10. Triston Cooper East Hall 41
T10. Tucker Williamson East Hall 41

Boys Team Scores:

1. Gainesville 154
2. North Hall 164
3. Johnson 171
4. Flowery Branch 182
5. Chestatee 188
6. East Hall 193
7. West Hall 202

Girls Top 10:

1. Jenni Barrett Johnson 38
2. Ashleigh Bishop Gainesville 39
3. Macie Hurst Flowery Branch 40
T4. Juliana Towns Gainesville 44
T4. Madison Stewart Johnson 44
6. Delaney Smith West Hall 46
T7. Olivia Young West Hall 49
T7. Arianna Lunsford Gainesville 49
T7. Vivian Robinson Gainesville 49
T7. Jordyn Jasperson Flowery Branch 49

Girls Team Scores:

1. Gainesville 132
2. Johnson 135
3. Flowery Branch 143
4. West Hall 159
5. Chestatee 171
6. North Hall 172
7. East Hall 174

With Gainesville High’s boys golf team shooting for its sixth straight team title at the Hall County Championships and Red Elephant senior Spencer Ralston aiming for the four-year sweep of the individual title, both are sitting on top of the leaderboard after Day 1 of the event at Chicopee Woods Golf Course in Gainesville.

Ralston sits alone in the No. 1 slot with a 1-over 37, but teammate Drew Lasseter is close behind with a 38, putting him in second place.

Three other teammates are also sitting inside of the top 10.

Ryan Hogan (39) is tied for third, Davis Weaver (40) is tied for eighth and Brody Simmons (41) is tied for 10th.

Gainesville coach Bryson Worley said his athletes will have to stay focused on themselves and what they can handle.

“On the PGA Tour, they have a leaderboard. You come in and you know where you stand,” Worley said. “In high school golf, most of the time you have no idea where you stand. You could be paired with North Hall and Flowery Branch, and Johnson may be lighting it up on the other side of the golf course. You just never know. That’s why we tell our guys just to control what you can control and take care of dominating the golf course.”

The Red Elephants (154) are clinging to a 10-stroke lead over North Hall (164) with the Trojans seven strokes clear of Johnson (171).

Worley said despite having a 10-stroke lead, his team shouldn’t get comfortable.

North Hall’s Brennan Manson is also tied for third, as are Johnson’s Cody Smith and JP Gibson. Trojan Bartley Forrester is also in the top 10 with a 41.

Flowery Branch (182) is in fourth with Tanner Merck leading the Falcons individually. Merck is tied for third with a 39.

Chestatee (188) is fifth with Nick Stackis tied for eighth.

East Hall (193) sits ahead of West Hall (202) and has a pair of golfers, Triston Cooper and Tucker Williamson, tied for 10th.

Though they’re aiming to win the tournament, Worley said his team was clapping for its opponents and hoping they play well.

“In golf, you don’t cheer against anybody,” he said. “We want to win. It’s in the back of everybody’s mind, but we do that in golf by controlling ourselves. Golf’s the gentleman’s game. If somebody hits a good shot, reward them and go on from there.”

On the girls side of the event, Gainesville tops the scoreboard with a 132.

All four Lady Red Elephants are in the top 10 of the individual scoreboard with Ashleigh Bishop in second (39).

Johnson (135), who won the event last season, is in second after the first day of play.

The Lady Knights have Tuesday’s top golfer, Jenni Barrett, who finished with a 38.

In the 2015 version of the Hall County Championships, Johnson took the tournament with a team score of 299 — 16 points ahead of runner-up Flowery Branch and 62 points ahead of Gainesville in third.

“Big change from our positioning last year,” Lady Red Elephants coach Clay McDonald said. “The girls felt really good about their score and are confident coming into tomorrow. With the exception of one girl in Ashleigh Bishop, no girl has been in this position before.

“We have another day to go,” McDonald continued. “We’re only halfway through this thing. Johnson isn’t going to just give this thing to us.”

Last year’s individual champion Macie Hurst of Flowery Branch is sitting in third after the first round. The Lady Falcons are in second as a team.

As Day 2 commences, McDonald said the girls are going to have to prepare for a new nine and a new strategy.

“It’s a brand new day and we’re going to start from scratch,” McDonald said. “We’re going to develop a strategy for the golf course we’re playing tomorrow and try not to waste too many shots. If we do that and keep a level head and stay in the moment like we’re supposed to, whatever happens, at the end of the day, we hope we’re going to come out on top, but we’re going to be OK with it.”

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