Both Walker Valley clubs are 8-1 on the season as the Mustangs shot a 1-over-par 145, which bettered the Chargers by 19 strokes and the Wildcats by 29.
The Lady Mustangs fired a 5-over 77 as senior Brittani Pederson earned her first medalist honors with a 2-over 38. The Lady Wildcats took second with an 87, while the Chargerettes shot a 104.
“We had two guys (Garrett Cantrell and Dylan Lillard) who broke par and we had three 38s,” praised Walker Valley coach Bob Williams. “Then Brittani (Pederson) comes in with the best score of her career to grab medalist honors away from Katie (Bishop) and Lydia (Triplett). We should be the guests on our own course more often.
“We are playing great right now,” the Mustang coach declared. “We’ve got six or seven guys that are shooting in the 30s and low 40s, pushing each other. Two of our girls were in the 30s today and the third shot 40. I don’t know if I’ve had that (three girls at 40 or better) before.”
“We’re starting a tough stretch with three matches this week and four next, so this is a time when we see just how good we are,” Williams added.
Walker Valley will battle county rivals Bradley Central and Cleveland at the Cleveland Country Club this afternoon, while Polk County is headed to Lakehaven to face Meigs County in a district match.
Cantrell dropped in a pair of birdie putts while earning his third low-medalist honors with a 2-under 34 on the Chatata Valley front nine. The junior has been in the top two in scoring in every Mustang match this season.
In just his freshman season, Lillard, who has also been a mainstay atop the Walker Valley leaderboard, added a 1-under 35 to his impressive scores so far this campaign. He also drained a pair of birdie putts in Monday’s action.
Although he needed just two more scores to round out his team’s best nine-hole total of the season, which came in the form of 2-over 38s from senior Zach Kilby and junior Hunter Carroll, Williams saw freshman Kyle Limburg pushing for some varsity time with a 38 as well.
Paul Houk (38) and Cameron Austin (39) broke 40 for McMinn Central, while Braden Stewart shot 40 and Dylan Miller added a 47 for the Chargers’ 164 tally.
It was “a disappointing day” for Polk County’s boys, according to coach Jason Adams, as his squad couldn’t break 40.
Freshman Michael Rongey led the Wildcats with a 41, while seniors Evan Ball and Cameron Bean both shot 44s. Classmate Jake Burrows added a 45, giving them a 174 total. Ryan Droke was just out of the scoring with a 46 as the Wildcats are now 2-3 on the season.
After strong showings in the TSSAA state tournaments last fall, Bishop and Triplett were the “marquee matchup” coming into the girls’ match Monday, and both fired strong 3-over 39s, but Pederson swooped in with the best score of her career to steal the show.
The senior had a birdie in her 2-over 38 round, leading the Lady Mustangs to their best team score of the season.
Freshman Katie Medley shot a 40 for Walker Valley but since only two scores are counted in girls’ matches, hers was not needed.
Emily Massengill added a 48 to Triplett’s 39 for the now 3-2 Lady Wildcats, while Lauren Passmore shot a 50.
Ryley Watson and Harley Williams had a 50 and 54 respectively for McMinn Central.