Prep golf primer: CPA squads look to take next step

Prep golf primer: CPA squads look to take next step

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Prep golf primer: CPA squads look to take next step

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Christ Presbyterian Academy's Gavin Clements finished in a tie for 11th place individually and helped CPA finish as the state runner-up last fall.

Christ Presbyterian Academy’s Gavin Clements finished in a tie for 11th place individually and helped CPA finish as the state runner-up last fall.

Lipscomb Academy's Paul Swindell placed fourth in Class A-AA last fall, and he also helped the Mustangs place fourth in the state as a team.

Lipscomb Academy’s Paul Swindell placed fourth in Class A-AA last fall, and he also helped the Mustangs place fourth in the state as a team.

Trenton Johnson helped Brentwood High win the Class AAA state championship last season.

Trenton Johnson helped Brentwood High win the Class AAA state championship last season.

Hendersonville High junior Bryce Lewis won the Tennessean/Metro Parks Schooldays Golf Tournament.

Hendersonville High junior Bryce Lewis won the Tennessean/Metro Parks Schooldays Golf Tournament.

Mariah Smith helped Clarksville High place fifth in Class AAA last fall.

Mariah Smith helped Clarksville High place fifth in Class AAA last fall.

The Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association (TSSAA) prep golf season begins on Monday, with golfers seeking to conclude their seasons competing for state titles at Manchester’s WillowBrook Golf Club. Here’s some to keep an eye on as the season unfolds …

Christ Presbyterian Academy senior Siarra Stout is the two-time defending Class A-AA state champion.

Christ Presbyterian Academy senior Siarra Stout is the two-time defending Class A-AA state champion.

Boys

Class A-AA

Defending champion: Christian Academy of Knoxville

Top area threats: Christ Presbyterian Academy, Lipscomb Academy

Class AAA

Defending champion: Brentwood

Top area threat: Hendersonville

Division II-Class A

Defending champion: St. George’s

Top area threats: Franklin Road Academy, Donelson Christian Academy

Division II-Class AA

Defending champion: Baylor

Top area threats: Father Ryan, Montgomery Bell Academy

Contenders

Both CPA and Lipscomb Academy graduated just one golfer from last season after placing second and fourth, respectively, in Class A-AA. They’ll be chasing defending Class A-AA state champion CAK, which will be led by University of Alabama commitment and two-time individual state champion Davis Shore. CPA won the 2014 state title, finishing three strokes better than CAK.

Sleepers

Bryce Lewis

Bryce Lewis

Junior Bryce Lewis — who won the Tennessean/Metro Parks Schooldays Golf Tournament in June — is Hendersonville’s top returning golfer, tying for 18th place individually and helping the Commandos place third in Class AAA last season.

Brentwood won the state title by one stroke over Farragut last fall but graduated three of its top five golfers, leaving Trenton Johnson and Eli Charron to lead the Bruins.

Senior Nick Wolf placed fourth in Division II-Class AA last season for Father Ryan, which returns four of its top six golfers.

Senior Paul Swindell — a Lipscomb University commitment — placed fourth individually in A-AA last season. The Mustangs return five of their top six golfers.

Franklin Road Academy sophomore Josh Holtschlag placed ninth in Division II-Class A last season, helping the Panthers to claim third place as a team. FRA could contend for the title this season after defending state champion St. George’s graduated four of its top six golfers.

Mt. Juliet senior Cooper Sears — a Vanderbilt University commitment — is looking to return to the Class AAA State Tournament for the first time since 2013.

Mt. Juliet High senior Cooper Sears – a Vanderbilt University commitment – is seeking a return to the state tournament for the first time since 2013.

Mt. Juliet High senior Cooper Sears – a Vanderbilt University commitment – is seeking a return to the state tournament for the first time since 2013.

Girls

Class A-AA

Defending champion: CAK

Top area threat: CPA

Class AAA

Defending champion: Houston

Top area threats: Clarksville, Rossview, Coffee County

Division II-Class A

Defending champion: Battle Ground Academy

Top area threats: FRA, DCA

Division II-Class AA

Defending champion: St. George’s

Top area threats: Father Ryan, Ensworth

Contenders

Led by two-time individual state champion Siarra Stout, a North Carolina-Charlotte commitment, CPA finished just two strokes back of state champion CAK last fall, the program’s second consecutive runner-up finish.

Ashley Gilliam

Ashley Gilliam

Coffee County placed fourth in Class AAA but could fare even better this season with the addition of 15-year-old sophomore Ashley Gilliam, a Mississippi State commitment and the Tennessean/Metro Parks Schooldays Golf Tournament champion. Gilliam was home-schooled last year but will join her sister — senior Savannah Quick (12th in AAA last season) — and senior Sophie Vinson (tied for 19th).

Franklin County junior Malia Stovall finished in a tie for third place in Class AAA, four strokes back of the state champion (Houston freshman Jayna Choi).

Franklin Road Academy sophomore Angelina Chan is the defending Division II-Class A state champion.

Rossview's Caroline Caudill finished in a tie for third place at the Class AAA State Golf Tournament last fall.

Rossview’s Caroline Caudill finished in a tie for third place at the Class AAA State Golf Tournament last fall.

Sleepers

Rossview’s girls didn’t advance to the state as a team last year, but senior Caroline Caudill (tied for third) and junior Catherine Caudill (ninth) placed among the top 10 individuals in AAA.

Clarksville (fifth in AAA) returns a pair of golfers — seniors Riley Cooper (16th last year and an Austin Peay commitment) and Mariah Smith (tied for 17th and a Tennessee commitment) — who finished among the top 20 in Class AAA.

Reach Craig Harris at 615-259-8010 and on Twitter @CHTennessean. 

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