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Panthers aiming for state title

    The third time's a charm for the Portal Panthers girls’ golf team.
    After advancing to the state competition for the third straight year, the Lady Panthers have their eyes set on winning a Class A state championship.
    The state championship is scheduled to kick off tomorrow, held in Augusta, and the Lady Panthers seem poised to take the crown.
    “We haven’t had a team state championship here at Portal. I really want to do that before I graduate. I’ve got this year and next year to accomplish that goal,” said Portal golfer Faith Reddick. “I want state. That’s it. I want state.”
    This year Reddick, along with Layne Clark, helped lead the Lady Panthers to their third straight region championship at Folkston Golf Club. Reddick was the low medalist and both Reddick and Clark were named to the All-Area team.
    At state, Portal will face seven other teams.
    “We haven’t played that great, but if we play to our potential I think we have a good shot,” Reddick said. “The past few weeks we realized getting tense and getting nervous won’t help. If we have a bad shot we just have to learn how to let it go. If we do that Monday, we should be fine.”
    Portal girls’ golf coach Jay Reddick said this year’s team has an excellent shot at taking home a state title.
    Three years ago, Portal finished No. 5 in state out of eight teams. Last year, the Panthers finished as state runners-up.
    “We’re going to be playing against seven other schools, and just looking at their scores, we have a good shot,” Jay Reddick said. “These girls are planning on bringing a trophy back. Hopefully they can do it.”
    However, Monday’s competition won’t be a cakewalk. Portal golfer Caitlyn Girardeau will play in the state championship coming off of eye surgery.
    Due to the surgery, Jay Reddick said Girardeau has only been able to practice for a few weeks.
    “Hopefully she can give us a good score. It’s a ‘what have you done for me lately’ game. Recently, we’ve played well the last couple of weeks,” Reddick said.
    The Panthers will spend the night in Augusta tonight in order to be well rested for tomorrow’s championship competition.
    “These girls have been here before. They know what to expect and know what to do.  This game is mental. A lot of it has to do with how well we’ve played,” Jay Reddick said. “It’s a great honor to be here and a great honor for our girls.”