The Georgia Northwestern golf team braved unseasonably harsh conditions to finish 10th overall at the 12-team Wallace State (Ala.) Invitational at the Cross Creek Golf Club in Cullman, Ala., held Sept. 10-12.
It was the first tournament of the year for the all-freshman squad, who beat Cleveland State (Tenn.) Community College by 17 shots (316-333) in an 18-hole match at Chatata Valley Golf Course in Cleveland back on Aug. 29 and tied the Cougars, 311-311, on Sept. 8 at the LaFayette (Ga.) Golf Course.
Lane Strickland paced the Bobcats with a 54-hole total of 238 (22-over par) on the 6,351-yard layout. The former Sonoraville High product shot an 83 on Sunday before improving four shots with a 79 on Monday. He went three shots lower with a 76 on Tuesday.
Adrian Clark (Northwest Whitfield) made the biggest Day 2 improvement as he followed up an opening 86 with a second-round 77. He then matched Strickland with a 76 in the final round to finish at 239 (23-over par).
Branton Bailey (Gordon Central) carded scores of 78, 86 and 78 to finish at 242 (26-over par). Cole Roberts (Northwest Whitfield) shot 79, 88, 84 to end his tournament with a 250 (34-over par), while David Manis (Coahulla Creek) went 84, 86, 83 to finish at 253 (37-over par).
Georgia Northwestern had a team score of 324 on Day 1 and a 328 on Day 2 before closing with their best score of the tournament, 313, on Day 3.
Full team scores were not available as of press time.
"We played in very tough conditions," said head coach Eddie Jackson, referencing the weather that came into the Cullman area as a result of the remnants of Hurricane Irma. "We had heavy rain and wind and cold temperatures. I’m very proud of the guys and both scores were again way good enough to qualify for nationals. We placed 10th (overall), but there were scholarship schools there and some of the top programs in the nation."
The Bobcats will now turn their attention to the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) Nationals, which will be held on the Penn State University Blue Course, Oct. 8-10.
Lady Bobcats drop two in Alabama
The Navy-and-Silver lost both ends of a tri-match at Judson College on Saturday, falling to 0-7 on the season.
Georgia Northwestern lost to the host school, 25-7, 25-14 and 25-14. Morgen Simmons had seven digs and an ace for the Lady Bobcats. Jamese Miller had three blocks and two kills, while Mia Clark and Kayleigh Goff both had two kills. Shanna Burk recorded five assists.
Jesse Owens and Tori Hall had three digs apiece, while Sky Atkins served up two aces.
In their final match of the day, the Lady Bobcats lost to Welch College in four sets. The Lady Flames won the first two by scores of 25-11 and 25-21 before GNTC picked up a 25-17 win in the third set. Welch polished off the match in the fourth with a 25-17 win.
Clark had five kills and five assists. Goff finished with four kills, four blocks and a pair of aces. Burk collected 15 assists to go with three aces and Miller picked up two kills and a block.
Also contributing for the Lady Bobcats was Owens (6 aces, 2 kills), Simmons (5 aces, 5 digs), Atkins (1 ace) and Hall (2 kills, 3 assists).
Monday’s home date with the Covenant College JV team was cancelled. A make-up date has yet to be announced.
The Lady Bobcats’ next scheduled match is Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. against Judson at the Rossville Athletic Center (301 Williams Street).