High School Golf

North All-Stars top the South

A lot of smiles among the players on the North All-Star team after they defeated the South All-Stars in the annual matches presented by the South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association. (North Team Photo)

Coaching a team sometimes requires a pep talk, or a game plan, or some sports psychology to get the most out of their players.

A coach may have to study position match ups and account for strengths and weakness on their opponent to get ready for a game or a match.

This year the Girls North All Star coach didn’t have to do much of any of that coaching stuff.

“I told them at the banquet, I wasn’t going to coach,” said Daniel girls golf coach Andy Swords. “I was just going to put their name on a piece of paper and let them go play,” he chucked.

With the lineup of golfers from teams in the Northern part of the state, Swords might have been joking, but it turned out to be pretty true.

The North scored the second biggest win in the history of the event with a 13.5 to 2.5 win in the annual North-South Girls All-Star matches, this year played at the Greenwood Country Club.

Looking at the score, you might think there was a serious difference in the playing ability between the North and the South.

The North did have an edge that could have made the difference in a tight set of matches, but after teams in the North swept up all the Girls High School Championships a couple of weeks ago, if there is such a thing as momentum on a golf course, the North team had it.

“If you look at the South lineup they are very good. We kind of jumped out to a lead in the first round and we kept playing well to win ,” said Swords.

North team included Abby Franks – Dorman, Ivy Schulze – Hanna, Maddie Peake – Boiling Springs, Madison Dixon, Mattie Padgett -Seneca, Lindley Cox – Blue Ridge, Emilyn Davis – BHP, Evie Harkins – Pickens
Coaches Andy Swords, Assistant Coach Macy Tate, Boiling Springs

Sometimes coaches approach setting their lineups and need computers and algorithms.

Swords and Assistant coach Macy Tate from Boiling Springs hit on a simple way to set up their first round pairings.

“For the alternate shot round, we put down all of the girls state championship scores and then we paired number one with number eight,” said the All-Star coach.

The formula worked as the North swept all the matches to open a big lead.

After the success in the first round, Swords and Tate mixed up the pairings so that the All-Stars would have a chance to play with as many of the other girls as they could.

“The girls were great and a lot of fun during the weekend. You could win a lot of championships if you get that group all on one team,” said Swords, who coached Daniel to a pair of AAAA state championships in 2018 and 2019.

The North leads the 11 year old event with 9 wins and the South has two wins.

South Team – Anna Grace Smith – South Florence, Abby Brunson – Swansea, Gracie Lee – Aynor, Faith Owens – Stratford, Allie Bird – Waccacaw, Mia Gray – Carolina Forest, Edie-Raine Hardee – Gilbert, Ella Stalvey – Blythewood. (not pictured Coaches Dru Nix – Gilber)t, Assistant Coach Kellie Minasi. Assistant coach Roger Smith, River Bluff.

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