By EDDY GIFFORD
Dade County High School’s boys golf team competed in the GHSA 1A-D1 Boys State Golf Championship Monday and Tuesday, May 22 and 23, at the Arrowhead Pointe Golf Course in Elberton. This was the first trip to the state for the golf team in several years and was a great learning experience for the young team.
The Wolverines shot a team score of 387 on Monday, led by freshman Kooper Knight’s 90 while fellow freshman Mason Weathers shot 93. Junior Heath Walters shot 99 and sophomore Avery Flatt shot 105 to round out the team scoring.
Freshman Lucas Weathers shot his season-low score, finishing the first day with 105. At the end of the first round, Dade County was tied with Rabun County for eighth place.
Day two saw DCHS shoot a team score of 402 resulting in a fall to 10th place. Tuesday, the Wolverines were led by Mason Weather’s 85, Kooper Knight’s 101, Heath Walters’ 107, Avery Flatt with a 107, Ethan Williams with a 114, and Lucas Weathers with a 107.
Prince Avenue Christian of Athens won its third straight state title with a two-day total of 605. Runner-up Darlington Academy of Rome was 16 strokes behind with a two-day total of 621.
“I was extremely proud of our kids for making it to the state tournament! We are so young with three freshmen, two sophomores, and only one junior. Each of them is committed to making it back to the state tournament next year and measuring our improvement against the best golf talent in 1A-D1,” Wolverine golf coach Stan Gibby said.
Coach Gibby added, “I have no doubt that they can do exactly that if they work hard in the off-season and improve their games. Everyone has several areas for improvement, and I believe they will begin to see their scores drop if they put in the sweat equity. I am also proud of how our kids represented Dade County. Even at the state tournament, you see kids who don’t think twice about reporting a lower score than they actually got on a hole. I can say without any reservation that our Dade County golfers are honest, and I fully trust every number they report.”
Coach Gibby went on to say, “We have a tremendous team of parents who were extremely supportive of all of our golfers. I felt a strong sense of family this week at the tournament, and I cannot thank these parents enough for placing their trust in Coach Alicia Bell and myself to coach their kids. For a program to succeed, its parents must have a strong commitment, just like their kids do. Without exception, all of our parents have gone above and beyond to love all of these boys and support them in every way possible. For that, I am extremely grateful.”
“The community of Dade County has been so supportive of the golf team this season as well. Participating in a tournament of this magnitude is by no means inexpensive. There are entry fees, travel costs, and practice rounds fees that far exceed our yearly budget. So many individuals and businesses stepped up and gave generously to cover these expenses and allow us to be a part of the state tournament. I want to thank the following businesses who graciously supported us: T&T Golf Carts, Citizen’s Bank and Trust, Bank of Dade, TVN, and B&T Heating and Air. Thank you to all the individuals and businesses who supported Dade County Golf,” coach Gibby added.
Final State Championship Results:
1. Prince Avenue Christian 605
2. Darlington Academy 621
3. Mt. Vernon 623
4. Mt. Pisgah Christian 628
5. Elbert County 635
6. Lamar County 688
7. Metter 746
8. Rabun County 766
9. Bleckley County 784
10. Dade County 789
11. Tallulah Falls 794
12. Jefferson County 806
The top four teams were private schools, and the fifth-place team was playing on their home course.
Congratulations to the Wolverine golf team and coaches Stan Gibby and Alicia Bell for their hard work and dedication. We are looking forward to seeing what the future holds for Wolverine golf!