Region meets will be held across the state over the next week to determine who goes on to the state and sectional meets. Provided they score below a certain mark, the winners of each region advance directly to the state championship. The second- through fourth-place finishers of each region will compete in a sectional meet to determine who goes on to state.
The Creekview and Sequoyah boys teams will tee off with the rest of Region 7AAAAA on Monday at Eagle Watch Golf Club in Towne Lake.
Creekview is set to play today’s Brookwood Invitational as a tuneup for Eagle Watch, and coach Jimmy Thigpen said the region tournament will provide some tough competition.
“I know it’s going to be a shootout,” he said. “The weather is finally turning around nice and everyone is enjoying playing on some nice golf courses in some decent weather. We are looking forward to our boys doing well.”
The Grizzlies are undefeated in head-to-head matches this season and Thigpen said they’re playing in the Brookwood Invitational to get a little more experience in a tournament atmosphere.
“I’m expecting a lot of good things from our boys,” he said. “We have had a good year and, hopefully, it will end on a good note.”
The Region 7AAAAA girls will compete Tuesday at Bentwater Golf Club in Acworth. Creekview and Sequoyah will play one another Monday instead of a final practice.
The Lady Grizzlies won the county title Tuesday and coach Casey Gramling feels they are peaking. Megan Nay shot a 79 to win the individual title, and her teammates weren’t far behind. Claire Roop finished a shot back, while Whitney Stevenson tied for third with an 81.
Gramling said that, with another performance like that, the Lady Grizzlies have a good shot at the Region 7AAAAA title.
“I asked the girls if they felt they left any shots on the course (Tuesday) and they all said they did,” Gramling said. “That tells me that all my girls could have done better. They all want it, especially Whitney, my senior. They are a close-knit group and they all want to do it for Whitney.”
Region 5AAAAAA will hold both its girls and boys tournaments Tuesday at Cobblestone Golf Club in Acworth, with Cherokee, Etowah and Woodstock joining their rivals from east Cobb and north Fulton counties.
The boys will tee off at 9 a.m., with the girls to follow. Etowah boys coach Phil Dutko said this is the first time he has seen both genders compete on the same course for the region tournament.
Among the favorites for the boys title are Lassiter, Milton, Walton and Roswell. Lassiter won last year’s Region 5AAAAA title, Milton is a returning state champion and Walton has been posting the lowest scores this year. Add to that Roswell, which beat Etowah by a few strokes earlier in the season, and the Eagles are in for some tough competition.
“Basically, you have five really strong teams, who are pretty even, fighting for four spots in the sectional,” Dutko said.
Dutko said his team is aiming for the region title so they can cut out the step of competing in the sectional.
“Winning region would allow us to focus on the state championship right away,” he said. “Maybe we could get to know the course down in Tifton a little earlier than some of the other teams, and that would give a chance for a strong finish at the state championship.”
The Class AAAAAA boys championship will take place at Spring Hill Country Club, in the south Georgia city of Tifton.
The title favorites for the Region 5AAAAAA girls tournament include Walton, Lassiter, Etowah and Milton.
Etowah was the runner-up to Creekview in the county championship, but coach Jamie Nelson was able to see some positives.
“(Towne Lake Hills) is a tough course and they played it well,” Nelson said. “I’m hoping we can roll this right into the region meet and find some success there.”
The River Ridge girls will compete in the Region 7AAAA tournament Tuesday at Indian Trace Golf Course in Chatsworth, while the boys will compete at the Fields Ferry Golf Club in Calhoun.
River Ridge girls coach Ansley Sand said she doesn’t know what to expect as far as the region is concerned. Because of the distance between schools, the Lady Knights didn’t play any region opponents during the regular season.
“We will see what we can do,” Sand said. “You never know.”