Macon County ends title drought

Macon County ends title drought

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Macon County ends title drought

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MANCHESTER

In 85 years, Macon County never had won a team high school state championship.

In one day, the Lafayette school nearly claimed a pair.

The boys golf team, making its first state tournament appearance, won the Class A/AA tournament by five strokes over Alcoa on Wednesday at WillowBrook golf course.

The girls, who took a five-stroke lead into the second round, finished six strokes behind Signal Mountain. It was the school’s second state runner-up appearance, following the girls basketball team in the 2011 Class AA tournament.

“I’m so proud of my kids, my young athletes,” Macon County coach Beverly Shoulders said. “We’ve worked since they were in fifth grade for this goal, playing competitive golf since then to prepare for this situation, this stage. They’re so deserving.”

Sophomore Larken Whittemore led the way for the Tigers, shooting a 5-over 149 to place fifth individually and finish a stroke ahead of junior teammate Austin Williams.

“I had nine straight pars on the front nine (Wednesday),” Whittemore said. “I messed up on No. 10 (with a double-bogey), but I could care less about the individual. I’m just glad we won it as a team.

“We didn’t have any experience here, but we knew how it felt to not get here after finishing second in the region last year. We just really wanted it.”

Junior Zach Polston added a 154 and senior Ian Whittemore a 169 for Macon County, which emerged from the same region as 2011 runner-up Lipscomb.

“Region 5, in my opinion, is the toughest region in the state,” Shoulders said. “You’ve got Lipscomb, CPA, Goodpasture, all very good teams. I felt if we could get out of the region, we’d have a very good chance at state.”

Sydney Chung of Madison Academic won individual honors with a 2-over 146. Lipscomb’s Logan Matthews matched Williams’ 150, tying for sixth.

CAK junior Sophia Schubert shot a 146 to win the girls individual title by 15 shots. It was the second title in three years for the Auburn commitment.

Page’s Jessica Zweifel finished at 161 to tie for second place.

“I didn’t do too well on the first day,” Zweifel said after shooting 87-74. “I had a lot of trouble on the back nine (Tuesday), but I came back and stayed positive. There’s nothing you can do about the first day, so you take it and move on.”

Montgomery Central’s KayCee Lindberg finished fourth with a 165.

It was the fourth consecutive state tourney appearance for the Macon County girls, following last year’s fourth-place finish, a sixth in 2010 and a fifth in 2009.

“I was so hoping, especially for my senior Kaleigh Chitwood (182), that we’d be able to pull it out,” Shoulders said. “But teenagers, nerves — they put pressure on themselves. We try to be positive and keep them positive and focused because it’s such a mental game.”

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