High School Golf

Three-peat for Christ Church

Class AA state champions (l-r) Jack Roberts, Walker Jennings, Coach Kristen Rooke, Robert Thompson, William Jennings, Jay Lowder, Jack Wofford, Rafe Reynolds.

The Christ Church Cavaliers completed a AA championship three-peat with their win at Mount Vintage, but that was only one part of their accomplishment.

The championship was the seventh in a row covering Class A and Class AA.

While the string of golf championships is impressive the Cavs title gave Christ Church its 100th state championship in all South Carolina High School League sports.

“We have contributed 18 titles to the total over the years,” said boys golf coach Kristen Rooke. “We have had some very special players who have a great deal of pride in our accomplishments,” she said.

This year the Cavaliers  carded an opening round 304 to hold a comfortable lead over Southside Christian going into the final round.

“I reminded our players that Southside Christian had beaten us in two nine hole matches and even with a lead we can’t take anything for granted,” she said.

While Southside Christian improved in the second round, the Cavaliers played well enough to hold their lead and earn another AA state tittle.

“We probably didn’t play our best golf, but it was still a very solid round. Our golfers played for the team win and didn’t try to do anything that could have hurt our chances for the win,” said Rooke.

The Cavaliers were led by Walker Jennings who shot 151 to claim a tie for fourth place. Defending champion Rafe Reynolds, a future Gamecock golfer, finished up sixth with a 152 total.

William Jennings was seventh and Robert Thompson was ninth as four of the Cavalier golfers earned All-State honors.

“I had really hoped we could get all five on the All-State team. Jay Lowder played well, but he is just a ninth grader so he will have a few more chances,” said the coach.

Individually Colin Trahan of Fox Creek was the AA medalist. Trahan finished the 36 hole championship at 5 under par 139. His final round 67 moved him past first round leader Rye Tift who opened the tournament with a 2-under par 70.

The Cavaliers will lose three seniors from this years team. Will Sanchelli, George Bylenga and Sam Pazdan have been an important part of the streak.

“We bring back our starting lineup and should also get Jack Wofford back. He missed the year with a back injury so we have a chance to be very good again next year,” said Rooke.

But the Christ Church coach is starting to hear some footstep from improving programs around the state that could make winning their eighth straight title more difficult.

“There are some very good teams with young players who are serious golfers. They play year-round and are not just playing during the season. Southside Christian and Oceanside are two teams we know are getting much better. We have a target on our back,” said the coach.

Rooke believes the reason for the continued success of the program is the competition on the team and the work ethic displayed by the players.

“Sometimes I worry they may work a little too hard. They play year round and they alway want to improve and that makes for a great team environment,” she said.

Brining home another state championship trophy means the school’s trophy case may need to expand, again.

“Fortunately, I don’t have to worry about that, I give the trophy to the athletic director and she makes sure it is displayed with all the others,” concluded the coach.

Class AA Team Totals

1 Christ Church, 2 Southside Christian 639, 3 Fox Creek 645, 4 Oceanside 667, 5 Ninety Six 671, 6 Buford 717, 7 Pageland Central 732, 8 Bamberg – Erhardt 736, E Clarendon 754.

Complete scores are available at http://www.foxcreekhighschool.org/golf-tourney-stats


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