published Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Region titles go to Walker Valley

Coach Bob Williams drove from Lake Tansi Golf Club with one golfer and two trophies.

The rest of his golfers returned to Walker Valley with parents, and they all returned victorious from the Region 3-AAA tournament Tuesday.

Senior Corey Evans earned medalist honors with a 1-over-par 73 and led the Mustangs to a 327 total that topped Cookeville by one stroke and McMinn County by three.

Senior Avery George won the girls' individual title with a 4-over 76 to help the Lady Mustangs win by 11 strokes over White County and 18 over third-place Soddy-Daisy.

"The whole tournament was pretty chaotic," said Evans, who made two birdies. "When everybody was coming in, it was pretty stressful. I didn't want to put pressure on anybody else still out there. So I just waited."

The Mustangs needed a bogey from No. 5 golfer Hunter Carroll on the final hole to force a playoff. He made a par to finish at 87 and secure the Walker Valley victory.

"It was a big relief once he signed his card," Evans said.

The 18-hole tournament lasted two days because heavy rains Monday forced two delays and postponed the conclusion to Tuesday, when conditions were beautiful but wet.

"I tried not to let the wind and the rain impact my game and I tried to stay as steady as I could," Evans said. "I'd like to help bring a state title back to school. That would be awesome."

George has the same opportunity. In previous years, she could have won only an individual title. But sophomore Katie Bishop added an 86 to help the Lady Mustangs advance as a team to Willowbrook in Manchester next Tuesday and Wednesday.

"She just showed again how great of a golfer she is by playing in those conditions and then finishing the deal," Williams said. "I'm excited for her to have to chance to go as a team."

McMinn County's boys represented the region at state last year. This year, the Cherokees will be represented only by Tyler Reynolds, who shot 77. Soddy-Daisy senior Zach Hester also earned a trip to the state tournament by shooting 78.

"We knew that we had an opportunity on the back nine and we couldn't cash in," McMinn coach Jerry Quirk said. "We've had a good year and gone back and forth with Walker Valley all year."

Soddy-Daisy senior Jessica Cathey helped the Lady Trojans win the state title last year. She's headed to Willowbrook as an individual after shooting an 81. She will be joined by Samantha Griffith of Ooltewah and Julie Keener of Rhea County as individuals.

about David Uchiyama...

David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...

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