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Statesboro Golf finishes strong at state
SHS golf
Statesboro's Ford Berger stripes a drive during the second day of play at the Class AAAAA state championships at Planterra Ridge Golf Club in Peachtree City. - photo by JOSH AUBREY

PEACHTREE CITY — It was deja vue for the Statesboro golf team, as for the second year in a row the Blue Devils finished in fourth place in the Class AAAAA golf championships, which were held at Planterra Ridge Golf Club in Peachtree City.

Last year the Blue Devils team was made up of freshman and sophomores, and coaches and players felt they would improve this season. Fourth place is still a strong showing but, coach David Elmore admits to being a little disappointed in the final standings.

“We put ourselves a little bit in a hole with our scores Monday,” Elmore said. “ We played pretty well out here today, as the course was set up pretty difficult and we still managed a 314. The frustrating thing is we are much better than what we showed the past two days.”

The Blue Devils were led by Ford Berger who rebounded from a 78 Monday with a 74 Tuesday. Berger and Mason Kleinlein tied for 13th place over at +8.

"Ford really played solid today, and has been good all year," Elmore said. "Mason has been our most steady golfer this season, with a stroke average of 76. Tate Rackleff has had some solid rounds, and we have seen a lot of improvement from Hunter Brown and Stone Bailey from last year to this season.”

The good thing for the Blue Devils is they all return next season, and coach Elmore is hoping these last two fourth place finishes has the team hungry to improve in the off season ,and set their goals on a state title next year.

“I think next year is going to be a great year for Statesboro High golf,” said Elmore. “I feel like we will have another opportunity to make a run at a state title. Everyone is coming back, and I feel like everyone will work hard during the off season to continue to improve.”

Lady Devils sprint to finish

The Statesboro girls golf team not only improved on their score from Monday, but improved on where they finished last year in the state tournament, as a round of 287 helped them to a seventh place finish in the Class AAAAA championships held at the Braelinn Golf Club in Peachtree City.

“I think the biggest thing to take away from this week is how much we have improved as a team from last year,” said Statesboro coach Glenn Bailey. “We improved our overall score today by five strokes over yesterday on a difficult course, but we improved our scores by over 30 strokes from a year ago.”

The Blue Devils were led Tuesday by Sloan Aubrey with an 89, which was an 18 stroke improvement from Monday’s round. Brooke Bennett turned in her second sub 100 round with a 97 and finished tied for 19th individually. Aubrey was 23rd, Savannah Barefoot was 29th and Yami Patterson finished 36th.

“I was really proud of Sloan for rebounding with an 89 today, that was pretty impressive,” Bailey said. “Brooke played two solid rounds in the 90’s, Savannah grinded out a couple nice rounds, and Yami contributed nicely with a 98 on Monday.”

“All four of our girls are sophomores, and they now have had two straight years of getting to know how things are in the state,” Bailey saud. “I hope they will work hard on improving, and set their goals eve higher next year.”