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Panther golf returns four veterans, wants to win All ‘A’

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Coach optimistic about upcoming season

By Kristin Beck

Four seniors will lead this year’s edition of the Carroll County High School boys golf team, and their coach has high expectations.

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“Our big goal is to win the Class A and go to the Class A state tournament,” third-year head coach Josh Mefford said. “I think we have a good chance of doing that this year.”

The team will lean on seniors Levi Stephenson and Clint Burgess, who are the team captains, to post good scores on matches, Mefford said.

Fellow seniors Chase Hartman and Bryan Taylor have both improved tremendously since last year in their all-around games, Mefford said, adding their knowledge of the game also has improved. The Panthers also return juniors Justin Ray and Drew Walker and freshmen Blake Belcher and Caleb Stephenson.

Mefford said the schedule is still a work in progress. He is trying to schedule some different matchups with schools they do not normally visit, but he has yet to hear back from the other coaches.

Carroll County opens its season at home Aug. 14 against Walton-Verona. Home matches will be played at Fairway Golf Course in Wheatley, Ky.

The Class A tournament is Aug. 28 at Cardinal Hills Golf Course in Trimble County, and the NCKC Tournament is Sept. 23 at Sugar Bay Golf Course in Gallatin County. The Panthers’ last scheduled match is the Regional Tournament Sept. 29 at Boone Links in Florence.

All three tournaments are 18 holes. The Panthers also will play an 18-hole tournament Sept. 13 at Henry County Country Club.

The biggest area of improvement for the team will be finishing at these events, Mefford said. “Walking 18 holes is rough for them,” he said.

Mefford said he wants to see his team be more consistent and do a better job of handling pressure.  “They’re all capable of scoring decent enough to win a tournament. It’s just handling that pressure,” he said.

Because it is summer break, Mefford said he has not had all of the players at practice consistently. But once school starts, practices will be more organized and players will be able to work on specific areas, such as putting, chipping, second shots, etc.

“I’m excited to get the season started,” Mefford said.