High school girls golf: Mustangs cruise to 4th straight title
By Mike London
SALISBURY — East Rowan freshman Hannah Waddell picked up a golf club for the first time a year ago.
Today, she’s the Rowan County champion. Waddell shot 39 for nine holes at Corbin Hills on Tuesday afternoon and breezed to a six-stroke victory over teammate Carlee Patterson.
“Hannah is a natural athlete with a positive attitude and an awesome work ethic,” East coach Rhett Teems said. “She’s good in a lot of sports, but if she sticks with it, she can do about whatever she wants to do in golf.”
Due to the COVID pandemic, it was the first girls county tournament held since the fall of 2019. All state guidelines were followed.
Waddell and Patterson led East to its fourth straight team title. The 2017, 2018 and 2019 titles for Teems and the Mustangs came at McCanless.
The county match is normally 18 holes. Eighteen were scheduled Tuesday, but the day was shortened to nine holes when play was slower than expected. It took more than two hours to complete the first five holes.
Emma Callahan shot 48 and was the third scorer for East. The top three make up the team score in girls golf.
“Our girls played the course very well today,” Teems said. “They’re solid and they’re all working hard. We’ve got a young team (with no seniors) that should be good for a number of years.”
East’s girls were in a league of their own and were playing against the course more than they were against the rest of the county.
Even with the scheduled match cut in half, East’s 132 total was 39 strokes better than second-place North Rowan. Hannah Wilkerson (56), Kimya Lynch (57) and Reya Shaw (58) were the scorers for the Cavaliers.
South Rowan was third with Blythe Elliot (55), Ella Carden (61) and Savannah Wallace (61) contributing to the team score.
Salisbury and West had two golfers each and couldn’t compile a team score. Carson didn’t have any participants.
East’s Addison Queen shot 50, giving the Mustangs the top four scorers.
Salisbury’s Phoebe Shields shot 51 for fifth place, while South’s Elliot took sixth. The top six golfers are designated as all-county.
Other competitors in the 18-girl field included East’s Emma Cornelison (56), West’s Dreamah Mason (62), West’s Sarah Waller (62), South’s Jennifer Thompson (62), South’s Aiden Shepherd (62), Salisbury’s Courtney Williams (63) and North’s Tyler Morrison (63).
East returns to North Piedmont Conference action at Larkin Golf Club on Thursday. The Mustangs are facing some stiff competition from South Iredell for the NPC championship. In a league match on Monday, South Iredell shot 131, while East Rowan shot 132. Patterson shot 42, Waddell 43 and Queen 47.
“We’re in a serious battle for the conference championship, and there are COVID cuts on the number of girls who will get into the regionals,” Teems said. “This year, more than any other, has made us rethink the way we normally do things as coaches.”
Teems is coaching East’s boys and girls teams at the same time right now. Normally, the girls play in the fall.