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MCHS golf coaches recognize outstanding players

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By Jesse Osbourne

Marion County High School golf coaches Freddie Leathers and Danny McFall recognized their success from last season and looked toward next season at this year's golf banquet on Thursday at Rosewood Golf Course.

Leathers announced the winners of the boys' awards after dinner, which was catered by Henning's.

Korey Hundley had the lowest junior varsity average, finishing the year at 47.2. Tommy Carrico had the lowest varsity average, finishing out at 37.9. Carrico also had the lowest tournament average, finishing the year at 75.5.  

Joseph Elder won the "Best Newcomer" award.

Two players, Brian Loper and Taylor Brady, won the "Most Improved" award, having lowered their scores by nearly the same amount.  

Joseph George took home "Best Short Iron player" honors. Leathers said George played as if he believed he could make anything from short range.

Leathers added that George and Carrico won individual tournaments this year, a first in a while for the golf team. The Knights squad has had individual success recently but before that it had been quite a while since individual tournament trophies made their way across the county.

Carrico, only a junior, took home "Most Valuable Player" honors for the boys' squad. Leathers said Carrico set a good example for other players. He recalled a time when he arrived at Rosewood Golf Course at 6:30 in the morning and Carrico was leaving after already practicing in the dark before school. Leathers said in his time as a coach, it's very unusual to have a player show that type of commitment to getting better.

Leathers commended Mike and Janet Goatee, owners of Rosewood Golf Course, for "practically running" the tournament Marion County hosted there this year. Leathers said teams participating in the tournament commented on how much they enjoyed playing the course.

Girls' coach Danny McFall announced his winners at the banquet also.

Olivia Carrico recorded the lowest score ever in the region tournament for a Marion County player, shooting an 82. Carrico also took home "Most Improved" honors.

Amy Brown won the "Best Work Ethic" award. Brianna Reynolds won the award for "Best Potential." Hayley Abell recorded the lowest match score at 39 and also won the "Most Valuable Player" award.

This young squad that missed the state tournament as a team by seven strokes only loses one player next season. McFall said the team returns three good veteran golfers next season in Abell, Carrico and Brown. The squad is still short on players for next year, only fielding six players as of press time.

McFall said the team is trying to recruit new players every day.

"We'd like to have 10 or 12 players if we could," McFall said.

He said he is a firm believer that practice makes players better and noted that preseason practice would again be rigorous this year.  

Receiving first team all-state academic honors were Taylor Brady, Joseph George and Hayley Abell.