DALTON, Ga. - Dalton senior William Duffie devised a practice plan for the Catamounts golfers that wouldn't agree with most high school students.
But it worked.
He and his teammates have been gathering before the sun rises every school day since spring break for a one-hour practice at Dalton Golf and Country Club.
"We get breakfast on the way to school," Duffie said. "That first day was bad. But it's been good for us."
The Catamounts claimed the Region 7-AAAA championship Monday by shooting a 27-over-par 315 that clipped Heritage by one stroke. Duffie led the Cats with a 3-over 75, while Allen Behr, Landon Hicks and Chris Kamerski each shot 80.
"We started out the season very inexperienced, but we progressed and this team isn't afraid to work," Dalton coach Chad Jordan said. "Their extra practice has been paying off. We've had guys really step up and become scorers when others are having a rough day."
The victory guarantees Dalton a spot in the Class AAAA state tournament May 20 on their home course.
"It's very important because even coming into the season, our top goal was to win the region," Jordan said, "for the very reason that we don't have to go to sectionals. We'll get a lot of practice here on the championship site."
Heritage was led by medalist Sport Allmond, who shot a 1-over 73, and runner-up Ben Rebne at 74. They're both freshmen.
"I hit a stretch on the back where I made a couple birdies," Allmond said. "I got off to a late start, but it turned out pretty decent in the end. There were some missed putts, but I'll take it."
The Generals, Northwest Whitfield (322) and LaFayette (332) can reach the state tournament by being among eight teams advancing out of a May 4 sectional in Waynesboro, Ga.
"Today, the guys may not be happy with their rounds, but as a team we were one shot better," Jordan said.