Signal Mountain senior golfer Peyton Ogle pumped his fist nonchalantly Wednesday after he chipped in for an eagle on No. 17 at Bear Trace at Harrison Bay.
Ogle's brilliant shot on the 503-yard, par-5 hole all but wrapped up the individual title in boys' competition at the City Prep. After shooting even through his first eight holes, he made a move to take control of the tournament.
"The 55-degree wedge that I hit into No. 9 set the stage for the back," Ogle said. "I had birdies there from 9 through 12. It was time to go. I played in a solid group."
Ogle was 7 under over his final 10 holes, shooting a 30 on the back nine to complete a winning 6-under 66. With a swing change he made with coach Ty Gosnell over the winter and relentless work on the links, Ogle was able to cross off a major goal he wanted to achieve as a City Prep champ.
"I really wanted to put my name on that list of former winners," Ogle said. "My teammate Beck Lewis won this two years ago. Signal has a trophy case of state championships. That is what we do up on the mountain. I am looking forward to trying to win state now."
East Hamilton's Griffin Law was the early leader but wound up sharing second place with McCallie's Thad Whitfield after each shot a 68. Baylor's Guillome Paquette (69) was fourth, with McCallie's James Gayle (70) fifth.
Whitfield and Gayle combined with Carter Sayman and Charles Warren, who each shot a 71, to lead McCallie to the team title at 8-under 280. Baylor was second at 3 under, with East Hamilton third at 7 over.
In girls' competition, Baylor swept the titles as Carlee Rogers won the individual championship with a 66 that was nine strokes better than teammate Rees Hamilton, the runner-up who helped the Lady Red Raiders run away with the team victory at 3-under 141. Boyd Buchanan was second at 19 over, with Signal Mountain third at 30 over.
'Holding our breath'
Severe flooding in Chattooga County has disrupted the lives of thousands of people this week, including student-athletes at Chattooga and Trion high schools. Through the adversity, which includes a lack of clean water in Summerville, administrators and athletic leaders at both schools have tried to keep things as normal as possible for fall sports athletes.
"The biggest challenge is that nobody has water," said Chattooga football coach Shawn Peek, whose game against Coahulla Creek has been moved from Summerville to Varnell and from Friday to Thursday. "Bathrooms, showers, drinking water — stuff you take for granted — we don't have.
"... The problem is, with everything so saturated, it doesn't take much for it to flood again. It rained hard for five minutes Tuesday, and water was already standing all over the place. Right now we're just holding our breath hoping it doesn't rain."
The Indians have been practicing at northern neighbor Gordon Lee this week after the Chickamauga school offered use of its athletic fields. Other offers of help have poured in from several other area schools.
"We've had so many people reach out to us, just saying let us know if you need anything," said Trion football coach Sean Patrick, who noted his school, which has usable water, has kept its gym and fieldhouse open in case students needed showers.
"Man, there's a bunch of good people in this area who care about each other. It's not about winning and losing. They genuinely care about kids."
Trion multisport athlete Logan Eller committed to Appalachian State University's wrestling program after visiting the school in Boone, North Carolina, for Saturday's football game against North Carolina.
Eller was a GHSA Class A individual champion for the 2020-21 season and was 48-1 this past season, with his loss in the 195-pound state final. He also plays baseball and is a two-way starter for the Bulldogs in football, where he has 306 yards and six touchdowns rushing and 13 tackles in two games.
"We're so proud of him," Patrick said. "I've said this before, but Logan deserves all the success he gets. He's such a great, humble kid who comes from a great family. I know he was really excited about getting the offer and he will do great there."
There are a total of four football games involving area teams taking on out-of-state opponents this week, with that list including Florida's West Broward at McCallie, North Carolina's Hayesville at Lookout Valley and Georgia's Dade County at Marion County.
Also featured will be the first meeting between perennial small-school state powers as 10-time North Carolina Class 1A state champion Murphy visits six-time Tennessee 1A state title winner South Pittsburg. Murphy's Bulldogs own five state championships in the past 10 years, with the most recent in 2020, while the Pirates have appeared in consecutive state title games in 2020 and 2021 and won their sixth crown last season.
In addition to Chattooga (0-2) at Coahulla Creek (1-1), two other Chattanooga-area prep football games have been rescheduled for Thursday night due to thunderstorms in Friday's forecast. Both are TSSAA nonregion matchups being played in Bradley County as McMinn Central (2-1) travels to Bradley Central (3-0) at 7 and Walker Valley (2-1) hosts Carter (0-3) at 7:30.
Compiled by Stephen Hargis, Patrick MacCoon and Lindsey Young. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.