published Monday, July 25th, 2011

Baylor girls take aim at their 15th consecutive state championship

BOY’S GOLF

Three teams to watch:

McCallie: The Blue Tornado won the Division II championship and lost just one player.

McMinn County: The Cherokees return all five players from a 2010 state championship appearance.

Notre Dame: The Irish return with five players who finished runner-up in the Class A/AA championship.

Five players to watch:

Zach Hester, Soddy-Daisy

Clark Melton, Walker Valley

Ryne Thompson, McMinn County

Andrew Weathers, McCallie

David Weeks, Notre Dame


GIRL’S GOLF

Three teams to watch:

Baylor: The Lady Raiders can win a national record 15 straight state championships and have three experienced golfers.

Signal Mountain: The Eagles have won the last two Class A/AA championships and return with stars.

Soddy-Daisy: The Lady Trojans lost all-star Haley Cothran, but return with Best of Preps player of the year Jessica Cathey.

Five players to watch:

Avery George, Walker Valley

Emily Javadi, Baylor

Samantha Griffith, Ooltewah

Jessica Cathey, Soddy-Daisy

Sarah Dolmovich, Signal Mountain

There’s no ducking the target this year for the Baylor girls golf team.

They are among the best teams in the Chattanooga area — again — and the state as well — again. But they can be the first high school girls team in the country to win 15 straight state championships in October.

“They were all here last year and they all know what they’re getting into,” coach Gary Partrick said. “Last year, we were fortunate to tie the national record. This year, we can try to take that position by ourselves.

“But there’s a lot of work to be done between now and October 11 and 12.”

The Lady Raiders are not the only defending state champions in the area. Soddy-Daisy won the Class AAA title for a second straight year, and Signal Mountain repeated with the Class A/AA championship.

With competition able to begin Monday, they all poised to do so again when the prep golf.

“There are some good players in town,” Partrick said. “We’ve won every girls state championship for the last two years.”

Rodney Mitchell will guide the Signal Mountain teams for the first time. He inherits a roster capable of repeating, assuming Sarah Dolmovich’s rehabilitation from a torn ACL continues progressing.

“There are high expectations and you have to take it as part of the job,” Mitchell said. “We’ll do our best and see how things unfold.”

The Soddy-Daisy girls team will have a different look this year. Four-year starter Haley Cothran will be playing for Middle Tennessee State this year. But senior Jessica Cathey is still on the team and will likely play college golf next year.

“Haley is a loss that you just can’t ask anybody to fill,” coach Kevin Templeton said. “Jessica has been playing pretty well this summer, but she’s not satisfied. She has high standards for herself.”

McCallie was the only area boys team to win a state championship last year. But Notre Dame finished runner-up in Class A/AA and McMinn County placed fourth in Class AAA. The teams combined return 14 of 15 starters.

“You see the summer scores and there’s a lot of talent around here,” McMinn County coach Jerry Quirk said. “I thought the talent was good last year, but it may be better this year. It’s going to pan out to be a real exciting season.”

about David Uchiyama...

David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...

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