With plenty of familiar and capable players returning, the prospects are bright for Marshall County’s Marshals and Lady Marshals golf teams.
A fourth straight trip to the state tournament is the goal for the Lady Marshals.
The Marshals and Lady Marshals opened season play on Saturday in the Paducah Tilghman Invitational at Paxton Park on Saturday
The Lady Marshals took second place in team standings and senior Cayce Hendrickson grabbed medalist honors with a one-under-par round of 71, edging Calloway County’s Anna Hack, who shot 72.
Clarksville, Tennessee, won with a team score of 319. Marshall County was second at 330, with Calloway County third at 333.
Quinn Eaton shot a 75 to lead the Marshals to a 317 team score and a third-place finish behind McCracken County (293) and Clarksville (302).
Vince Doom is in his third season as head coach of the Marshall County girls.
Charlstyn Beard and Devan Doss have graduated from last year’s squad, but a talented group of youngsters have been playing at the varsity level for several years.
The group is led by the reigning region champion Cayce Hendrickson.
“I think we’ve got a chance to be as good as we were last year, or maybe better,” Doom said, making a favorable comparison between this team and the one that finished second in the region last year for the third year in a row.
Hendrickson, who already has signed a scholarship to play at the University of Missouri, returns for her senior season. She won last year’s title with a one-stroke defeat of Calloway County’s Anna Hack, the 2012 state champion, in the region tournament at Drake Creek Golf Course in Ledbetter.
The Lady Marshals got off to a rough start in the state tourney at Bowling Green Country Club, though, and had to rally from 11th spot in the 11-team competition on the second day of the tournament to finish sixth.
Bailey Tyree, who will be a junior this year, paced the Lady Marshals at Bowling Green with a score of 154, placing her in a tie for 17th place individually. Hendrickson was one stroke back at 155, tied for 19th.
“Cayce has been working this summer and she’s hitting the ball 20 to 30 yards farther,” Doom said. “Bailey’s hitting the ball as well as she ever has.”
Eighth-grader Hallie Riley shot a 38 in a scrimmage last week and has pretty much established herself as the No. 3 player, Doom said.
“I’ve got about four players shooting for the No.4 and 5 spots,” he said.
Keith Bell takes over as head coach of the Marshall County boys team. Brent Lovett will remain as an assistant while he assumes extra duties as associate athletic director.
Last year’s Marshals squad was led by a trio of juniors – Conner Jones, Sam Gold and Dylan Dodson. Sophomores D.J. Pigg and Peyton Porter and a talented corps of freshmen – and younger – players filled out the roster, with fifth-grader Jay Nimmo making the varsity lineup.
The youthful team ended its season with an eighth-place finish in the region tournament.
This year’s squad will be made up of the same players.
It’s the exact same team that played for us last year,” Lovett said, “each of them with another year of experience, which will help them. Every player has done some things this summer and gained some more tournament experience.”
Quinn Eaton, a sophomore, was the most consistent player on last year’s youthful squad.
“Quinn was our No.1 player last year for low average score,” Lovett said, “and D.J. had the low round in the region tournament. Those two guys are probably what we’re gonna roll with, and we’re looking for good contributions from everybody else.”
THIS WEEK: The Marshals were in a tournament at Olde Stone Golf Course in Bowling Green on Monday and both MCHS squads are scheduled to meet Paducah Tilghman today at the Benton Country Club. On Thursday, they travel to Murray Country Club to play Murray High.
Billy Hodge’s Christian Fellowship team had a milestone last year with the Eagles scoring their first match victory in golf competition in the school’s history. They defeated Carlisle County on Sept. 17 by a 185-191 score at Dogwood Hills in Cunningham.
This year’s lineup for the Eagles and Lady Eagles will be short of a full field. Three players on each squad will compete as individuals in a schedule of 14 matches plus the Kentucky Christian Athletic Conference and KHSAA Region 1 tournaments.
Sophomores Gavin Cypret, Garrett Wynn and Logan Draffen make up the boys squad, with junior Amber Shelley, freshman Mattie Ortt and eighth-grader Campbell Knoth on the Lady Eagles roster.
CFS opens the season at home at Calvert City Country Club on Monday in a tri-match against Carlisle County and Dawson Springs.
Play continues next week on Tuesday against Caldwell County at Princeton Country Club, with the All “A” Classic on Friday and a dual match against Heritage Academy at Calvert City on Saturday.