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Longhorn golfers qualify for Regional

Jackson Earnhardt was the low medalist on the day for Johnson County in the District 1 golf tournament. Submitted photo.

By Tim Chambers
Sports Editor

Despite only one senior and a quartet of sophomores, Johnson County earned a berth into the regional tournament on Thursday by placing third in the District 1 Small Class golf tournament played at the Elizabethton Golf Course on Monday. The Junior Bucs boys won their fourth consecutive District tournament championship in rather convincing fashion while Unaka took the girl’s top spot.

UH got a 78 from Garrett Gentry and some other good scores to win by a score of 336-349 over second place Hampton. Daxx Carr shot an 83 for UH while Jaxon Williams added an 84. A pair of 91 had UH with an entire team that shot lower than most of the golfers from other teams.

But none was better than Hampton’s Josh Owens, who blistered the course with a two-over-par 74. A standout on the baseball team, Owens eagled whole No. 5, and had four birdies on his stellar round. The Babe putted like a young Arnold Palmer on the day.

“If I had not been putting well, I would have been in the ’80s said,” Owens. “Not bad for a kid who only took up golf two years ago after being urged by two family members who had played on the high school team.” 

Avery Hill shot an 88, and R.J. Tolley came in with a 92 to help Hampton’s cause. Parker Henry rounded out their scoring with a 95. Johnson County finished with an overall score of 382, led by Jackson Earnhardt, who shot a 91. Three Longhorns played under 100; Graham Reece shot a 93 and Dakota Holt a 94 for the Horns who don’t even have a home golf course. Peyton Pavusek had some good moments on the day and finished at 104. 

The team will travel to Greeneville on Thursday to play in the Region 1 Golf tournament held at Link Hills. Others to qualify individually were Tyler Morrison, Jordan Pruitt, Samuel Riddle from Chuckey-Doak, Jacob Cross from Sullivan North, and Gavid Seigfried from Unaka.

Johnson County didn’t have any girls play on the gold team, but Unaka captured their first-ever District championship by one stroke over Hampton. Sadie Shoun was the girls’ individual medalist with a 96. She is also an outstanding softball player for the Lady Rangers.