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SEB girls golf qualifies for state
Marleigh Cooper of Southeast Bulloch blasts out of the bunker on the ninth hole during the Area 2-AAA tournament at the Georgia Southern golf course, Monday afternoon. Cooper finished in a tie for second individually while the Jackets placed second as a team and qualified for the state championships May 21-22. - photo by JOSH AUBREY/staff

Last year the Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets and the Statesboro Blue Devils both had to travel to Blackshear for their area golf tournaments. This time around, Southeast Bulloch got to host their tournament at the friendly confines of the Georgia Southern University course. The Lady Yellow Jackets took full advantage, finishing as Area 3 runners-up. More importantly, SEB's team score locked up a spot in the Class AAA state championships.

“We are pleased with the way we played today,” said Southeast Bulloch coach Aimee Civalier. “Of course we would have liked to have won the area tournament, but Pierce County is a good team, and shot a 270 which was pretty impressive.”

Southeast Bulloch shot a respectable 288. The Jackets were led by Marleigh Cooper, who tied for second individually with an 88. Chyann Hoyle shot a 99, and Jade Hoyle shot a 101.

“Marleigh continues to play well for us,” Civalier said. “She has really worked hard to turn things around over the past few weeks. Chyann and Jade helped pull us through, but they are capable of playing better, and hopefully they will when state gets underway next month.

The Yellow Jackets actually have three weeks before the state tournament begins, and while that may seem like a long time, coach Civalier believes it should give them plenty of time to prepare for the rigors of a 36-hole tournament which can be a strain for first-time participants who are more accustomed to the less demanding setup of regular season matchups.

“Most of the tournaments we have played this year have been only nine holes,” Civalier said. “We now have to get ready for two straight days of 18 holes, which means we have to get ourselves in better shape.”

On the boys side of things, Pierce County was the only team to advance to the state from Area 3. Southeast Bulloch placed sixth overall and were paced by Hayes Oliver.

“We knew it was going to be tough for our boys to qualify,” Civalier said. “Hopefully this experience will get them more excited about playing golf, and they can build from this.”

As for being the host school, Civalier was thankful for a beautiful day of weather and thanked the staff at Georgia Southern for all their help.

“I think things went well, especially due to the organization of Marten Olsson and James Kittinger,” Civalier said. “I’d also like to thank our assistant coaches and parents for pitching in as well. I got so many parents and coaches telling me how impressed they were with the course, and the way they run things out here.”

With the season ongoing for the Southeast Bulloch girls, a few weeks of practice are now on the schedule ahead of the May 21-22 Class AAA state championships at the Cateechee Golf Club in Hartwell.