The Jackson County boys’ golf team shot a 328 Tuesday at the Region 8-AAA tournament to finish fourth and qualify for the May 5 state sectionals at Sunset Country Club in Moultrie. There, the Panthers will try to advance to state for the second-straight year.
“I felt really good about it,” coach Warren Standridge said. “Our region is so loaded in golf. We were concerned all year about being able to get down in the 320s … Man, they just did an awesome job.”
York Delloyd fired a 79 and Grant Richardson shot a season-best 80 as the Panthers edged Franklin County (330) by two shots for the fourth and final spot at the state sectionals.
Standridge said the closeness in scores made for a stressful afternoon.
“It was back-and-fourth all day,” he said. “The kids did a really good job of staying focused and finishing where we had to finish.”
Ian McGaughey added an 84 and Anthony Whobrey shot an 85 to round out the scoring. Devyn Zubler (96) and Trey Evans (102) also competed.
North Oconee won the region title with a 295. Morgan County was second with a 320, and Oconee County finished just ahead of Jackson County with a 326.
Jackson County lost five golfers off a team last year that finished fifth in the state. While expectations outside the team might have changed, they didn’t within the Panther program.
“We set the goals just like we always do of being county champions, finding a way to get to sectionals and then getting to state,” Standridge said.
The coach said his team has really stepped up and done a good job. “I’m extremely proud of the accomplishment, and I’m extremely proud to be their coach,” Standridge said. “These kids continue to work hard and do anything that I ask them to do.”