Friday, August 04, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Lonoke golfers set season goals high

By ANN THARP Special to The Leader 

After losing one from the girls’ side and two from the boys’ side to graduation, this year’s Lonoke High School golf team is comprised of two young men, Ryan Robinson and Will Armstrong, both experienced seniors. The team will be unable to qualify for the state tournament with only two players, but both aspire to qualify for state as individuals.

“Both are good kids and fun to be around,” said Lonoke golf coach LouAnn Howell. “Both are good students. You don’t have to worry about them when checking for eligibility, and they have extremely supportive parents.”

Robinson, a four-year letterman for the Jackrabbits, has been playing golf since age six. He played U.S. Kids Golf in various states and Arkansas Junior Golf. He played Pinehurst at ages 8 and 9 and has played St. Augustine.

His most memorable golf moment was his only hole-in-one on No. 8 at Rolling Hills in Cabot at age 10. He has been the No. 1 player for Lonoke both his sophomore and junior years, has been named all-conference in 2014, 2015 and 2016, and All State in 2016.

He just missed qualifying for all-around in 2016 and was on the team that qualified for state in 2014 and 2015. This year’s goal is to play in the high school overall tournament, and he would like to play golf at the next level.

“Ryan has all the skills needed to play golf in his bag,” Howell stated. “He just has to play smart.”

Armstrong is also a four-year letterman. He has been around golf all his life but picked it up when he started playing as a freshman. Armstrong enjoys the tradition that he and his father have of playing in the ASGA father-son tournament every year.

He was also on the Lonoke team that qualified for state in 2014 and 2015 and hopes to qualify for the state tournament this year. “Will has a heart as big as the state of Arkansas,” Howell commented. “If his competitive edge was as big as his heart, he would be hard to beat.”

Lonoke plays in the 2-4A conference, which includes Baptist Prep, CAC, E-Stem, Heber Springs, Riverview, Southside Batesville and Stuttgart.

Their first match will be Tuesday at Heber Springs. The first home match will be Monday, Aug. 21 at Rolling Hills in Cabot.

This will be the third year that Rolling Hills has been their home course, and the second year where home matches have been played.

“Rolling Hills has been very supportive to the ASJGA and to Lonoke High School golf,” coach Howell said.

After the Tuesday’s match, the Jackrabbits play on Thursday at Tannenbaum near Heber Springs, Aug. 17 at Stuttgart, Aug. 21 at Rolling Hills, Aug. 28 at DeWitt, Sept. 7 at the Red Apple Course in Heber Springs, Sept. 12 at the Greens at North Hills hosted by Sylvan Hills, and on Sept. 14 again at Rolling Hills.

The District Tournament will be hosted by CAC on Sept. 18-19. The state tournament will be Oct. 2-3 at the Red Apple in Heber Springs.