Three Hall County schools will be represented in the 2019 GHSA Golf State Championships. Multiple golf courses will be hosting the two-day, 36-hole tournament, which will be held on Monday and Tuesday at multiple golf courses across the state.
“We are thankful that it’s two days rather than just one, so it kind of eliminates the team that gets hot one day and is done,” Clay McDonald, Gainesville’s Director of Golf Operations, said. ”And it lends a little more to the deep and solid golf team over a 36-hole period.”
The Lady Trojans will play for the Class 3A state title for the second time in program history at Arrowhead Pointe (Elberton). Sophomore Mikayla Dubnik frontlines the team as she continues her historic season, while vying for her own individual state title. She is one of three, in coach Rodney House’s mind, who has a strong chance in winning the individual title.
“She’s put the work in, but all four of my golfers since area have put in extra work,” House said. “She’s ready to go, but I think they’re all ready to go.”
House believes the team title will come down to his No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 golfers -- Lyric Sanford, Annika Cain and Willow Hill. The team collectively played their best round of golf in the Area 3-3A tournament, scoring a 250 to secure the first place slot. If they can mimic their area performance, then House is convinced they will be in the mix for the state title.
“I’ve said this all along, we are not going to concentrate on other (team’s) scores,” House said. “Just going to focus on us.
“This is new for North Hall. We’re going to play and have fun and do our best. If it’s meant to be, then it’s meant to be.”
Gainesville will send both of its teams to the Class 6A championship. The boys begin play at Woodmont Golf Club (Canton) and the Lady Red Elephants at Cobblestone Golf Club (Acworth).
The boys (comprised of Andrew Hughes, Ryan Davidson, Zayne Hilderbrand, Sam Patterson, Alex Hughes and Price Embry) finished first, second and third in every tournament except one this season. McDonald anticipates a first, second or third place finish with their type of season.
The three seniors and one sophomore, who bolster the Lady Red Elephants team, have won five of their seven tournaments this season.
“It’s hard not to have some lofty expectations looking at a season like that,” McDonald said.
For seniors Vivian Robinson and Carie Cook, the event marks their fourth straight state title appearance.
The quest for the state title began over the weekend as the Red Elephants familiarized themselves with the courses.
“Part of the process is to become as comfortable as we can in the postseason setting,” McDonald said.
Tyler Stauffer and Rachael DeVall will compete for an individual title in their respective Area 3-4A tournaments. Stauffer shot a 77 to qualify and will play at the Country Club of Columbus, while DeVall shot an 89 and will play at Maple Ridge (Columbus).