Lady Hawks win Class III state golf championship
By Joseph W. Gex, II
May 3, 2013, 19:28
The Hancock Lady Hawks golf team completed a process that began some six years ago by winning the Class III girls’ state championship at Sunkist Country Club on Tuesday, April 29th.
The state title is the second one won this spring by Hancock High School following the state bowling championship earlier this year.
Hancock tallied a score of 340 to outdistance Warren Central with 352 followed by Biloxi 362, St. Martin 375, Tupelo 385, Madison Central 391, George County 405, Desoto Central 425, Clinton 445, Olive Branch 446, Oak Grove 455 and Hattiesburg with 569.
Emily Ross, a USM signee from Hancock, was low medalist with a 158. Other Lady Hawks’ top scorers were Madison Seay with 186 and Ali Dedeaux at 200.
For Ross and Hancock head coach Charles Bourg, the road to this state title has been a process that has taken the last six years. Bourg commented, “We realized the type of player that Emily Ross could be back when she was in the sixth grade but she could not compete on the varsity level. But, when she started seventh grade, it was the first year that the MHSAA sanctioned girls golf as a state title sport. It was at that point that we began to build the girls’ golf team here at Hancock and we progressively got better each year as more and more girls became interested in the sport. The title this year is a culmination of a total team effort by all the girls and all their hard work to get to this point.”
That first year Ross was fourth in state as the Lady Hawks were seventh overall. The next year Ross was fourth again and the team finished eighth. During Ross’ freshman year, the Lady Hawks were fourth overall and Ross finished in a tie for second place. Ross won the individual state title during her sophomore campaign and the Lady Hawks were third overall. During Ross’ junior year, she earned state runner-up honors individually while Hancock was second to Biloxi by five strokes. This year, it all came together as Ross was low medalist and the Lady Hawks hoisted the team trophy for the first time.
Bourg commented, “Emily has progressed as a player and is very consistent. But, this year Madison Seay really improved as a player and Ali Dedeaux came on very strong in her first of golf. Seay and Dedeaux really provided their best play of the year to help us get to this level.”
Bourg lauded the efforts of his assistant coach, Kyle Ahlers, for helping to get the swings right for the players. Bourg commented, “Coach Kyle Ahlers put in many hours helping and coaching the girls. His coaching was vital to our success.”
The Lady Hawks lose Ross and Cassidy Sahuque to graduation but return Dedeaux and Seay along with junior Leigh Beaver.
In Class I girls’ action, the Pass Christian Lady Pirates placed third overall in the state tournament with a team score of 389. They finished behind state champion St. Aloysius with 353 and runner-up St. Patrick with 365. The rest of the field was made up of Ingomar with 411, Kossuth 413, Sumrall 438, Cathedral 441, North Forrest 452, St. Andrews 473 and Walnut 483.
Hannah Mitchell led Pass Christian with a score of 163 followed by Bernadette Marsh 226 and Taylor Gaston at 239.
Presley Baggett of OLA was the individual state runner-up in Class I with a score 157 while Mitchell was third.
The St. Stanislaus Rock-a-chaws placed second overall in Class 4A at The Oaks on Thursday, May 2nd. The Rocks fell just three strokes shy of a state title with a score of 333 just behind state champion Lewisburg at 330. The rest of the field included Germantown with 335, Kosciusko 345, Corinth 345, Vancleave 348, North Pike 352, Newton County 357, Caledonia 368, Amory 396, New Albany 412 and Columbia with 481. The state 4A tournament was shortened from 36 holes to 18 due to inclement weather that ruled the area on Wednesday and Thursday.
The Rocks improved their team finish from a seventh place overall finish last year to state runner-up this season. The Rocks have just one senior on their squad. Cole Baggett, an eighth grader, led SSC with an 80 followed by eighth grader Patrick Powers 81, freshman Matthew Saucier 85, senior Riley Baggett 87 and Vincent Almerico with 90.
The Hancock Hawks boys’ team placed seventh overall with a team score of 676. Tupelo won the state title with 595 followed by Madison Central at 623, Oak Grove 651, Desoto Central 660, Northwest Rankin 668, Warren Central 674, Ocean Springs 685, Petal 693, Gulfport 700, Clinton 727, Brandon 731 and St. Martin at 758.
Both Hancock squads and St. Stanislaus captured their respective division tournament during the season, as well.