JCHS golf team is off to a good start on the season
By Jonathan PleasantThe season is off to a good start for Johnson County’s golf team. An early win on the road against Sullivan East was soon followed by a win at home and another at Rye Cove. Between the two, the Longhorns also played nine holes at Buffalo Valley against a couple of the toughest teams in the conference, Elizabethton and Sullivan South. Even though Johnson County was unable to best these two titans as a team, several individual scores were as good as or better than their counterparts with the Cyclones or Rebels.
Ironically, Johnson County actually beat Elizabethton in their second match of the season, pulling out 172 to 184. During that same game the Longhorns also came in ahead of Sullivan East at 176 and Hampton at 181. Nathan Timbs, who landed his first hole in one just the week before, had the best score for Johnson County at 38 strokes. The rest of the top four, including Blade Hampton, Morgan Eggers, and Nathaniel Graybeal were shooting in the low 40s.
Part of this big win could have been that it happened on Johnson County’s home course at Redtail Mountain, a fact that Coach Steve Arnold pointed out. “You should be at least five to eight strokes better as a team on your home course,” Arnold said. “This was a big win to open our first week as that put us 4-0. Nathan Timbs had a strong showing shooting at 38 and Morgan Eggers at 42. We still have a couple of players who have not played to their ability yet, but I’m proud of the team as a whole for our start.”
Morgan Eggers has been one of the most consistent players on the team so far, already showing much improvement from last season. In Johnson County’s second match of the week he shot another 42 and came in once again in the number two seat. That was the match at Buffalo Valley which saw Sullivan South come in at least 15 strokes ahead of everyone else at 150. Elizabethton was second with 165 while Johnson County firmly held the number three spot at 172. Unicoi County took bottom position staying just below 200 at 199.
Although the first loss of the year, Johnson County quickly rebounded with a spectacular showing at Rye Cove, beating Sullivan North, Gate City, and Rye Cove. All of the Longhorn’s top six were in the 40s at that match, with Timbs at 43, Nathaniel Graybeal and Blade Hampton at 44, Morgan Eggers and Isaiah Penley at 46, and Brandon Vannoy at 48.
Competition to hold the top six spots has already become very heated simply because of the amazing skill shown from all members of the team. Even new faces in the lineup, like freshman Isaiah Penley have been able to come out with respectable scores, pushing the more veteran players to improve their own game.
“Players are placed in the lineup due to their averages,” said Coach Arnold. “All averages so far this year are in the 40’s and every spot may be up for grabs for every match because they are so close. This makes each match a challenge for the players to play good, not only for the match but to hold on to their spot in the top six. We have the talent to where each player could shoot in the low 40’s and that would be hard to beat. Brandon Vannoy at number six is also starting to play better which will really make our line up that much stronger.”
The season is still very early, but hopefully the Longhorns can keep up their strong record going. With ample talent and drive to succeed, it appears that golf in Johnson County is in top shape, and more wins are sure to be in store for the future.