Austin Cole spent his middle school days figuring that he'd play golf at Northwest Whitfield. But then Coahulla Creek High School opened and he chose to attend the new school and be part of the inaugural Colts golf team.
Three seasons later, the junior and his teammates will be playing in the Class AAA state sectional tournament for the first time in school history today in Moultrie, Ga.
"Starting as a freshman, I was skeptical and I wasn't sure about Coahulla Creek," Cole said. "The first year wasn't so competitive. Last year it became frustrating because we weren't insanely great, we weren't the best around, but you could see things turning around.
"This year, we have a solid lineup and it's so rewarding."
The Colts are one of 14 Chattanooga area teams participating in a sectional tournament today with the hopes of advancing to their respective state championship tournament on May 19 in the Augusta area.
The Colts will be one of 19 teams playing at Sunset Country Club and need to finish in the top 10 to advance.
They're a little surprised that they're even playing.
Coahulla Creek co-head coach Brian Dodson figured the Colts' season was over after they finished third in the region championship. But they received word last Tuesday that other scores from across the state were higher than Coahulla Creek's region scores.
"We felt like somebody had kicked our dog," Dodson said. "Then we got a second wind, and we're excited."
Reaching the state tournament would add to an already historic season for the Colts.
"We've basically just showed up in the past," Dodson said. "Even this year we're a young team. But this will be our first sectional.
"We're planning on having a goal of shooting 340, which I think would get us to state."
Getting into sectional is already an accomplishment.
"I couldn't be more proud of how things turned out," Cole said. "It's been a long road."
Contact David Uchiyama at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 423-757-6484. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.