Leading the Charge: Lady Cats widen lead; SS boys move up one place
By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY | News-Telegram Sports Editor
April 1, 2008 - The Sulphur Springs girls are two-thirds of the way to the regional golf tournament after figuratively lapping the field Monday on their home course.
With junior Britney Cheatham firing a season-low 85 to lead the way, the Lady Cats not only maintained their team lead after the second of three rounds of the District 11-4A tournament, they opened up their cushion to 125 strokes.
Cheatham, sophomore Miranda Conway and junior Kaitlyn Potts are all in the top four in the medalist standings. In fact, seven Lady Cats (two on the JV team) are in the top 20 individuals after Monday's second round at Sulphur Springs Country Club.
The SSHS boys moved up one spot in the team standings to fifth after posting the third-best round on Monday with a total of 330.
Freshman Cameron Wilks carded a 75, which was bettered by only two other golfers, and sophomore Adam Perry maintained a top-10 position after a round of 80.
After an early morning start that came with intermittent sprinkles and high winds, the golfers were rewarded with sunshine in the afternoon.
The district's third and final round will be played Monday at Hide-A-Way Lake in Lindale. After totaling all three rounds, the top two teams and top two individuals not on those teams advance to the regional tournament.
The Lady Cats shot a team total of 401, the best of any team so far in the two rounds and 22 strokes better than what they shot last week at Paris Golf and Country Club.
Sixteen of those strokes were carved off by Cheatham, who dropped her opening-round score of 101 to a crisp 85. She leads in the medalist standings by 14 strokes over Conway and Mount Pleasant's Katy Webster.
Conway matched her total from last week with another even 100, while Potts shot a 103 to give her a two-round total of 205. Dani Johnson shot 11 strokes better than last week with a 113, and Kaley Perry carded a 129.
"Britney coming out with an 85 is really starting to hit her stride," said SSHS head coach Linda Rankin. "She felt that was the best she's played in a while.
"Miranda is staying very consistent. She's still finding ways to improve and seeing the adjustments she needs to make. Kaitlyn's been very consistent - we'll really consistent with our top three."
Johnson is tied for ninth in the medalist standings, while sisters Kayle and Jamie Askins are 12th and 18th, respectively, with totals of 241 and 249.
Despite some problems with casual water and gusty winds, the Lady Cats still shot 79 strokes better than any other team.
"The girls really came out. They thought there were going to be some tough conditions, but they persevered through them and really stepped up," Rankin said. "It seems like the pressure should be building on them, but the more we go, the more relaxed they get and the better they played, so I'm proud of them."
The SSHS varsity has a two-round total of 824, while North Lamar is in second with a 949 and Mount Pleasant is third at 950. The SSHS JV is at 1,012.
On the JV squad, Megan Sickles shot a 124 to give a 252 total and place her 21st in the individual standings, Rachel Johnson shot a 137 and Stevie Moore finished with a 140.
Wilks came through with one of the top scoring rounds of the day with his 75, but he won't be able to advance because a scorecard error last week cost him his first round's score.
Still, he came out with a 3-over par on Monday, which was bettered only by Lindale's Jared Johnson and Texas High's Cabe Prieskorn. Had Wilks been able to use his first-round score of 74, he would be in fourth place individually behind Prieskorn (145) and Lindale's Johnson and McMillan (147 each).
As it is, SSHS sophomore Adam Perry sits in eighth place in the standings with a 158 total. If Lindale and Texas High finish 1-2 in the team standings, as they are now, then Perry will need to catch Paris' Smallwood (153) in the individual standings to advance to regional.
Lindale took a solid 17-stroke lead over Texas High for the team lead (611 to 628). Texas High passed North Lamar (644) after the Tigers shot a 314 and North Lamar carded a 333. Lindale had the day's best team total with a 306.
Sulphur Springs had the third-best total as sophomore Cort Walker shot an 87 which put him in 21st position in the individual standings, sophomore Cole Cable carded an 88 which was six strokes better than last week, and freshman Chance Byrd shot an 89.
"There were only two other teams that beat us in yesterday's round, so you've got to be pleased with that," SSHS head coach Ross Funk said. "We jumped up to fifth place with that score, and hopefully we can have a good round next week, which should give us more confidence."
On the JV squad, freshman Heath Hanna had the team's best round with a 92 as he shaved 21 strokes off his first-round score. Mason Smolik shot a 94, Parker Sims carded a 102, Cody Morgan had a 107 and Josh Gaines shot a 110.
After Two Rounds
Team - 1. Sulphur Springs "A" 423-401-824; 2. North Lamar "Blue" 469-480-949; 3. Mount Pleasant 467-483-950; 4. Paris 486-483-969; 5. Lindale 496-484-980; 6. North Lamar "Gold" 520-488-1,008; 7. Sulphur Springs "B" 507-505-1,012.
Individual Top 10 - 1. Britney Cheatham, SSHS, 101-85-185; 2. Miranda Conway, SSHS, 100-100-200; 2. Katy Webster, Mount Pleasant, 101-99-200; 4. Kaitlyn Potts, SSHS, 102-103-205; 5. Ali Ryan, Paris, 103-104-207; 6. Alex Ragan 111-103-214; 7. Skii White, North Lamar, 113-119-232; 8. Jessica Springer 117-115-232; 9. B. Messer, Mount Pleasant, 117-120-237; 9. C. Dykes, North Lamar, 118-119-237; 9. Dani Johnson, SSHS, 124-113-237.
Other SSHS "A" - Kaley Perry 120-129-249.
SSHS "B" - Kayle Askins 120-121-241; Jamie Askins 125-124-249; Megan Sickles 129-123-252; Rachel Johnson 133-137-270; Stevie Moore 142-140-282.
Team - 1. Lindale "A" 305-306-611; 2. Texas High "A" 314-314-628; 3. North Lamar "A" 311-333-644; 4. North Lamar "B" 329-331-660; 5. Sulphur Springs 349-330-679; 6. Paris 343-342-685; 7. Lindale "B" 369-373-742; 8. Texas High "B" 376-377-753; 9. Mount Pleasant 414-342-756.
Individual Top 10 - 1. Cabe Prieskorn, Texas High, 72-73-145; 2. S. McMillan, Lindale 72-75-147; 2. J. Johnson, Lindale, 75-72-147; 4. J. Cox, North Lamar, 73-78-151; 5. S. Smallwood, Paris, 78-75–153; 6. C. Ribble, Texas High, 79-76-155; 7. D. Suarez, Lindale, 78-80-158; 7. Adam Perry, SSHS, 78-80-158; 9. Richie Hefner, Lindale, 80-79-159; 10. L. Clay, North Lamar, 76-84-160; 10. B. Fowler, North Lamar, 80-80-160.
Other SSHS "A" - Cameron Wilks NS-75; Cort Walker 86-87-173; Chance Byrd 90-89-179; Cole Cable 94-88-182.
SSHS "B" - Mason Smolik 95-94-189; Heath Hanna 113-92-205; Parker Sims NS-102; Cody Morgan NS-107; Josh Gains NS-110.