By Denis House
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
BRONSTON—It wasn’t the way either coach wanted their season to end.
Neither North Laurel or South Laurel qualified anyone for next week’s boys’ state goal championships in Bowling Green, though the Cardinals did finish fourth in the 10th Region Championship, held at Woodson Bend Resort in Bronston.
“We came in fourth out of 24 schools but did not advance as a team and we didn’t have any individuals advance,” South coach Steve King said. “This was our best outing of the year though. Everybody on the team played good. We were one of only two teams that did not have a score in the 90s.”
The other team was Corbin, who won the region title with a team score of 314. Jackson County was second with 321. Tyler McDaniel of Clay turned in the low score with a 68.
“Trey (Martin) and Zach (Royster) are our two best players,” King said. Martin shot an 82, while Royster finished with an 84. “Austin Herron, a senior, played his best tournament round of the year (maybe ever) in his last high school event. He shot 83.” As a team, South finished with a 335. Tad Barton had an 86 and Jake Arnold, 88.
“Jake Arnold, our only other senior, had a good round also,” King said. “We have a pretty young team with Trey and Zach being sophomores and Tad being in eighth grade. I expect us to be right in the thick of the region next year. Woodson Bend is a tricky course that requires smart shots with a premium on keeping the ball in the fairway and out of trouble. Many of the holes are very tight with out of bounds on both sides of the hole. There was a lengthy rain delay during the tournament and it is always hard to go back out after such a delay and get back in your rhythm, but they did a pretty good job. We had a chance to play several practice rounds there and all the boys did a good job of developing a strategy for the course. Everybody hits some bad shots during a round but we have to eliminate bad decisions in order to play our best. I am very proud of them. We made a good showing.”
After playing well the final two weeks of the season, North Laurel struggled in the region, shooting a 351.
“We did not finish well,” coach Scott George said.
Kyle Jeffers was low man with an 82, while Seth Reed had an 86. They were the only two Jaguars in the 80s. Barrett James shot a 93, Hunter North, 95, and Matt Nicely, 90.
Eric Francis of Middlesboro and Justin Mayfield of Pulaski County also qualified as individuals.