The Cullman Times
For all those who believe absolutely nothing can go right on Mondays, the Cold Springs golf team has the hardware to dispute that age-old cliche.
Led by a low-medalist performance from Layne Rice, the Eagles opened their week the best way imaginable, edging Lamar County and Holy Spirit by just four strokes for the school’s first-ever sectional title.
Rice was the man to beat in the Class 1A-2A, Section 3 field, using an eagle to card an even-par 72 at the Cullman Golf Course. Other contributions in the squad’s winning effort came from Michael Gilliland, 81, and Nick Speer and Tristan Williams, who both carded 83s.
“I’ve been expecting him to be right there,” Cold Springs golf coach Adam McKinnon said of his No. 1 golfer in Rice. “He’s been pretty solid and consistent for us. I was glad to see him get it (low-medalist).”
As one of the top-four teams at Monday’s sectional tournament, the Eagles will move on to the North 4 sub-state competition next Monday at TP Country Club.
After finishing only two strokes short of advancing to state as a squad last year, McKinnon feels much more comfortable knowing this season’s qualifier will be held in his team’s back yard.
“We’re excited we get to host sub-state this time,” he said. “We’re a little more familiar with the course than we were in Huntsville last year. We’re looking forward to it.”
Class 3A, Section 3
Holly Pond, Good Hope and one Hanceville golfer can clear their calendars for next Monday’s North 3 sub-state tourney after qualifying for the next level of postseason play at the Cullman Golf Course.
The Broncos earned section runner-up up honors behind consistent rounds from its top-three golfers — Colby Adams (81), Braden Walker (83) and Hunter Walker (83). Holly Pond’s No. 4, Dawson Foust, wasn’t far back with a 92.
Cullman County low-medalist Eli Marty entered the clubhouse with a 75 to help Good Hope land in a tie for third with Mars Hill. Kainan Smith played up from his No. 4 position, carding an 86, while Cole Pearson followed with a 96 and Josh Cofer with a 98.
With one of the top-four individual scores from a golfer not represented by the top-four teams, Hanceville No. 2 James Hudson advanced with a 92.
Good Hope will enter next week’s sub-state competition at Silver Lakes in Glencoe looking to advance to the state tournament for an astounding 17th straight season.
Class 4A, Section 3
Fairview’s Trey Hanvey hit a hole-in-one en route to a third-place individual and team finish at Chesley Oaks on Monday.
The sophomore’s 73 was highlighted by the second ace of his young career. He achieved the feat on the 12th hole.
“That was pretty impressive,” coach Kurt Knight said. “Some people don’t even hit one, so it’s pretty big when you hit two.”
The Aggies’ extremely young squad, which consists of one junior, two sophomores and two freshmen, finished with a 339, just six strokes back of second-place Randolph.
Austin Scott was good for an 84, James Arnold pitched in a 90 and Cody Lackey rounded out the group with a 92.
“I’m proud of the work ethic of the kids and proud that we moved on to sub-state,” Knight said of his team, which will join Holly Pond, Good Hope and Hanceville’s Hudson at Silver Lakes. “We’re really young, so if we keep improving, the future is bright.”
Class 5A, Section 3
A third-place team result at Gunter’s Landing on Monday extended Cullman’s season for at least one more week.
The Bearcats, paced by a 75 from No. 1 Sylas Elliott, came away with a 320, while Walker (302) and Southside (307) were the champs and runners-up.
The top-four result was aided by Colby Sandlin (78), Connor Stevens (82) and Lee Mattox (85).
The Black and Gold will accompany Cold Springs at next Monday’s North 2 sub-state tournament.
% The Times’ sports editor Rob Ketcham contributed to this report.