Hixson High School golf coach Earl Cornette walked off the patio at Moccasin Bend Golf Course on Monday holding two large plaques.
His teams won the District 6-A/AA boys' championship by 17 strokes and the girls' title by 36, advancing both teams to the Region 3-A/AA tournament Thursday at Chatata Valley.
"It's my first experience to win both," the veteran coach said. "Folks that hadn't shot this well all reason really stepped up today."
Hixson freshman Ali Barker was the girls' medalist with an 8-over-par 80. That topped her best 18-hole score of the season by 10 shots. A recent lesson with swing coach Bruce Etter paid off.
"Bruce told me that I wasn't coming all the way through the ball and I was hitting everything right," Barker said. "Today I stayed in the fairway all day. It's pretty awesome to win. I would love to get to state."
Marion County senior Lucas Coffelt was the boys' top individual with a 2-over 74, including a birdie on the 18th hole to beat Hixson players Thad Smith and Tate Truong by one. Smith won the sudden-death playoff over his teammate for runner-up.
"I really tried to play my own game and play the course and not get too angry or too happy," said Coffelt, who reached the par-5 18th in two with a 7-iron and tapped in for the winning putt. "I stuck to my plan, which was to be in every fairway and aim for the middle of every green."
Both South Pittsburg teams also advanced to the region, and coach Dave Pickering said that was first for his school.
Baylor teams second
At Bear Trace at Tims Ford, both Baylor teams finished second in the Division II Middle-East Region tourmament, and Girls Preparatory School and McCallie were third, also qualifying for the state tournament beginning next Monday at Willowbrook in Manchester.
Ensworth won the girls' title with a 146, followed by the Lady Red Raiders at 152 and GPS at 174. Baylor senior Blakesly Warren was the individuial runner-up with a 72, two strokes behind Ensworth's Alexandra Farnsworth.
"Blakesly played pretty good. There was one hole where there was a three-shot swing which cost Blakesly," Baylor coach Gary Partrick said. "We've always been chased, and we'll see how Ensworth likes being chased."
Montgomery Bell Academy won the tight boys' championship at 297, one shot ahead of Baylor and four ahead of McCallie.
McCallie senior Patrick McDonald was the medalist with a 3-under 68. Chase Roswell led the Red Raiders with a 72.
CCS, Signal advance
At Ironwood Golf Course in Cookeville, the Chattanooga Christian and Signal Mountain girls' teams advanced to the Region 4-A/AA tournament Monday at White Plains, also in Cookeville.
Clay County won the team championship with a 181, followed by CCS at 185 -- led by an 87 from Anna Pope -- and Signal Mountain at 186. Signal sophomore Bethany Burns was the individual champion with an 81.
"We did what he had to do to advance," Signal coach Rodney Mitchell said. "Bethany played solid all day long, and the course played tough today."
Notre Dame's Maddie Strozak and Georgia Ann Ervin advanced as individuals. They will join the boys teams from Notre Dame and Signal Mountain, which moved on from the boys' district tournament last Thursday.
Contact David Uchiyama at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6484. Follow him at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.
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 ...