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MHS Golf Celebrates Stellar Season

Posted 11/12/19

by brad sambrad@mckenziebanner.com© 2019 Tri-County Pub., Inc.HUNTINGDON (November 5) — McKenzie High School golfers celebrated their successful season Tuesday with a banquet at …

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MHS Golf Celebrates Stellar Season

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HUNTINGDON (November 5) — McKenzie High School golfers celebrated their successful season Tuesday with a banquet at Mallard’s Restaurant, joined by family and other supporters. The 2019 campaign culminated in the Lady Rebels’ third consecutive state tournament appearance (and a fourth-place finish) and an individual appearance by Logan Green and saw several school records broken.

After the delicious meal, Head Coach Larry Joe Smith welcomed all to the gathering. He thanked a great many groups and individuals, including parents and grandparents, support staff, The Banner, Stan Welch, Regina Green for providing articles, Paul Glass for compiling statistics, Carol Nanney (his “right arm”), his wife Tiffany and the teams for their hard work and development. Smith noted that “it takes all of us to be a successful program” and said that the teams have had a good run the last few years.

Smith spoke about his mother, Doris, who died in September, noting that she “didn’t know the first thing about golf” but always inquired about how the team was doing. He called the team’s response to her passing “awe-inspiring.” The golfers attended her service and wore blue ribbons in her honor at the Region Championships.

The coach said that golf and life are both like rollercoasters, with “a bunch of highs and a bunch of lows.” He implored his players to embrace failure. “Failure is going to happen” in all aspects of life, he said, but to “analyze it, learn from it, and, in capital letters, MOVE ON.”

Smith spoke about the boys’ season. They had a record of 46-12. The team finished third in the district, but bounced back to earn region runner-up. With no seniors departing, the coach set the goal of reaching the state tournament next year. He then recognized each player individually.

Freshman Ben Dillon had an average score of 54 and a low round of 47, which he shot on four occasions.

Freshman Nolan Renfro had an average score of 48 and a low round of 43.

Junior Matt Espey, a first-year player, had an average score of 50 with a low round of 44.

Junior Nathan Nanney had an average score of 44 with a low round of 38.

Junior Logan Green had an average score of 41.8 with a low round of 38. He qualified for the state tournament for the third straight year and finished 29th out of 63 competitors with scores of 82 and 87.

Junior Johnathan Moore had an average score of 37.8, an MHS record. His low round of 32, which he shot twice, is also a school record.

Next, Coach Smith highlighted the girls’ season. With a record of 39-7, they were the district and region champions and advanced to the state tournament for the third straight year. The team finished in fourth place. He recognized each player individually.

Freshman Kristin Bradberry had an average score of 54.7 with a low round of 45.

Sophomore Jaden Barton was inactive all season with an injury, but Smith hopes to get her back on the green next year.

Sophomore Juleyanne Weatherford had an average score of 44.3 with a low round of 39. As an individual, she finished third in both the district and region and 24th out of 43 at the state tournament.

Junior Maggie Glass had an average score of 38.2 and a low round of 34, both school records. She was the district medalist with a 76 and the region medalist with a 73. She finished in fourth place at state with scores of 75 and 81.

Senior Whitley Smith, a third-year player, had an average score of 48.5 and a low round of 42. She was fourth in the district and 34th at the state tournament. Coach Smith expressed his wish for the senior that golf remain somewhere in her life. She was presented with her senior banner.

Each of the players received a certificate, a letter, a copy of the book The Coffee Bean (the teams’ motto this year was “Be the Bean”) and a personalized driver head cover.

Additionally, each of the girls was presented a t-shirt reading “W1N, R2PEAT, 3ELIEVE” in honor of their “three-peat” state appearance.

Coach Smith offered the teams a special thanks for earning wins this season that bring his combined total golf coaching wins over 1,000.

Whitley Smith then took the podium. She thanked her coach for a great three years and said she’s sad that it’s over, but she’ll always remember her time on the team. She said she learned much, including self-control. She said Coach Smith is “truly someone I look up to” and that her teammates have shown her that “golf is not just a game, it’s a family.” After her remarks, she presented a gift to the coach.

The event ended, but guests lingered to take photos and reminisce on the great season.

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