County Golf

Chargers depth leads to county golf title

South's Austin Foley wins overall medalist


DARLINGTON — North Montgomery boys golf has had a deep and talented team all season long. That depth was on full display once again Thursday night as the Chargers hosted the county golf meet at Rocky Ridge. Being able to take four scores all under 90, the Chargers won the county title handily by shooting a 340. Crawfordsville placed second with a 364 and Southmont came in third, six strokes behind CHS with a 370.

Southmont’s Austin Foley battled Crawfordsville’s Tanner Gilland and Neal Jeffery for medalist honors but it came down to the final home and when the scores were tallied, Foley shot a 76 compared to Gilland’s 78 to earn the top individual honor.

What’s even more impressive for the Chargers and their county title is that No.1 singles player Neal Jeffery had an off night on his home course shooting an 82, but the rest of his Charger teammates were right there to help. Senior Alex Chapman also fired an 82 while both Rohen Barnes and Beckett Martin carded 88’s. Kelby Harwood ended shooting a 95.  Charger coach Bob Ryker was proud of the way his team shot to secure the county title.

“Our depth is awesome,” Ryker said. “In our two matches this week leading up to county we had nine different guys shoot in the 40’s our of our 13. When you have that many guys who can put up scores like that, it makes us a hard team to beat especially in this area. Alex, Rohen, and Beckett and I’m all super proud for picking up for Neal who had an off night. I have all the confidence in the world that he’ll bounce back. To win a county title is a pretty special feeling and these kids have earned it.”

Along with Gilland’s 78, CHS got a strong showing from senior Braxton Smith who carded an 84. Camden Dowden shot a 93 while Henry Hoar ended the night with a 105 as senior Thomas Bowling shot a 109. The 364 was an eight stroke improvement from what the Athenians shot just last Saturday on the same course at the Sagamore Conference meet. Coach Tom Perkins was pleased with the progress as his team now has their eyes dead set on next week’s sectional.

“I’m happy with what we had tonight,” Perkins said. “Especially happy with what Braxton was able to do in bouncing back after not shooting great at conference. Being able to shoot that is a huge confidence booster for him. It’s nice to see also that Tanner wasn’t happy with a 78. For you’re number one to shoot a 78 and be upset shows you his level of determination he has. Sometimes in golf you just hit a bad shot or have a bad hole I know he’ll be good to go. Camden Dowden broke 100 for the first time all season so there’s plenty of guys who are trending in the right direction for us.”

The Mounties to go along with Foley’s 76 had Cole Rhoads shoot a 96, Jesse Smith a 97, Jimmy Clester 101, and Jacob Fox a 105. After a great showing at the conference meet last Saturday, South coach Bill Whalen noted how his team took a slight step back.

“We reverted back to having to count scores that start with a one,” he said. “You’re typically not going to have a  great day when that happens. We shot well at conference because we didn’t have to take anyone in the 100’s. We have a week to prepare for the sectional and we just simply need to get better. I am very proud of Austin because he seems to have a found his rhythm right now and to get medalist when he’s playing against two really talented golfers in Tanner and Neal is a big accomplishment for him.”

All three county schools will look to next Friday’s sectional at Harrison Hills in Attica. The top three teams along with the top three individuals will qualify for the Regional at Coyote Crossing in Lafayette.