Friday, August 22, 2014

SPORTS STORY >> Bears’ boys win Central match at Stone Links

Leader sports editor

The Sylvan Hills boys won a four-team golf match hosted by North Pulaski Thursday at Stone Links Course in Scott.

Only two schools brought enough boys for a full team score, and the Bears beat Jacksonville in the nine-hole match by 32 strokes. Sylvan Hills shot a combined 186 while Jacksonville shot 218.

Sylvan Hills’ David Talcott was the medalist with a 42 through nine holes. His teammate Dalton Schuster and Jacksonville’s Jeremy Wilson tied for second by shooting 43.

Only three ladies took part in the event with Jacksonville’s Haley Elmore winning for the third time in three matches with a score of 51.

“She’s undefeated so far,” said Jacksonville coach Max Hatfield. “There wasn’t much competition today and she didn’t have her best round, but she’s been a pleasant surprise. She’s played pretty well so far.”

Sylvan Hills’ Bailey Jabara took second with a 69 and North Pulaski’s Allison Seats shot a 64.

North Pulaski coach Robbie Walker sees lots of potential in the sophomore Seats, despite Thursday’s high score.

“She only started playing about three months ago,” said Walker. “She’s just an athlete, though, and she’s got a knack for it. I think you give Allison a year and she sticks with it, she’s going to be pretty good.”

Walker has three players on his girls’ team, but two couldn’t be at Thursday’s home match because of prior commitments. One is in band and another, who Walker says is probably his best player, Makayla Brown, is on the volleyball team.

“I haven’t gotten a chance to see Makayla yet but I know she plays with her dad pretty regularly,” Walker said. “I hope to get a chance to work her, but she’s on the volleyball team and has a job. So we’ll see. I think she has potential, though.”

Hatfield believes second-place finisher Wilson has a chance to play his way onto a college roster if one key part of his game improves.

“He just has to learn to let the mistakes go,” Hatfield said. “Last year was his first year, and this same match last year he shot a 59. He’s made tremendous strides and he just has to learn that golf can be cruel sometimes and you have to let that roll off of you. Bad shots happen. Bad luck happens. That’s just golf. If you go out there and play nine holes and don’t have any fun, you’ve got to adjust your approach.”

The 5A-Central Conference got tougher this season with the addition of Beebe to the league. The Badgers have maintained a strong program. Sylvan Hills felt it had a chance to compete for a league title this year, and still do, but those chances took a hit with the loss of its top returning player to grade ineligibility.