JCHS golf team still doing well
By Jonathan PleasantAfter losing to the Longhorns several times this season, the Sullivan East Patriots Golf Team was finally able to gain the upper hand last week after taking advantage of a few critical Johnson County missed strokes. Playing at the Tri-Cities Golf Course the Longhorns still a respectable showing at 182 which allowed them to easily triumph over Happy Valley at 201, but East was still able to take the top spot with 182. Even after this single loss, Johnson County’s record was still 11-5 on the season and the team is expected to do well at the district tournament in two weeks.
Making their way back home to Redtail later in the week, the Longhorns proved their growing reputation with phenomenal wins over teams including Hampton, Unicoi, Rye Cove, Happy Valley, and North Greene, to end up 15-5 overall. In both matches on Tuesday and Thursday the Longhorns came in with a phenomenal score of 166. This 16 stroke shift was a definite surprise, even for coach Steve Arnold
“Each player has been pretty steady with their play,” Arnold commented, “except for their trip to tri cities where we played our worst round of the year, then came back and had our best 2 rounds of the season. Hopefully we can maintain our play as of late and carry it into the district tournament.”
There have been a few changes in team’s top 6 over the last week as well. Senior Blade Hampton moved up, steadily improving his score from 46 at Tricities to an impressive 39 at Redtail on Tuesday. “Blade has moved from 4 to 3 and Brandon Vannoy has moved from 6 to 5,” Arnold said about the changes. “Blade has done what a senior is supposed to do. He was struggling a little, decided to put in a little extra practice, and comes in with his season best at 39 to lead the team to 2 wins, and is closing in on regaining the #2 spot.”
Nathan Timbs remains the Longhorns leader in scoring, consistently coming in with low 40s. However, Blade Hampton is not the only one that could be contesting Timbs position as even younger players like Isaiah Penley have been having their best showings this year. Although the team has a long way to go to catch up with top ranked teams like Sullivan South, Johnson County looks to be doing well in golf and could have a very strong showing in Elizabethton at the district tournament.
With a little luck the Longhorns could compete with anyone on the course and the real task now is simply trying to build consistency. “The team has been playing their best golf lately,” Coach Arnold said. “But I still think we can play better if everyone has their best game on the same day. Each player is still in the 40’s and Brandon Vannoy and Isaiah Penley are as strong at 5 & 6 as any team in the district. Everyone is playing well right now.”