The St. Aloysius golf team celebrates with its Class 1A state golf championship trophy Thursday. From left, are Sam Andrews, Gabriel Riveros, Elliott Bexley, Channing Curtis and Conner Smith. It's the third straight title for St. Aloysius.
Flashes earn Class 1A crown
St. Aloysius didn't have the medalist, but it did get the medals.
The Flashes earned their third consecutive Class 1A team championship Thursday at Big Oaks Gold Course in Saltillo, finishing with a two-day team total of 649 for a 73-shot victory over Tupelo Christian Prep.
Tupelo's Parker Brooks shot a 139 for the tournament to earn medalist honors and end St. Al's two-year run of winning both the individual and team tournaments. It wasn't nearly enough to derail the Flashes' run at their sixth state title in seven years, though.
Freshman Gabriel Riveros shot a 78 in Thursday's second round for a two-day total of 154 and a third-place individual finish. St. Al's worst performance came from junior Sam Andrews, who shot 173 for the tournament - still good enough for 11th place out of 21 golfers.
Conner Smith totaled 161 and finished fifth, Channing Curtis (167) was seventh, and Elliott Bexley shot 170 to finish in a three-way tie for eighth.
Of St. Al's five golfers, only Bexley is a senior.
"The secret is we're fortunate to have kinds who start young and get better as they go along," St. Al coach Mike Jones said, "With all but one coming back next year, we just hope to compete and do what we've been doing."
St. Al did slip a bit from the first round to the second. Only Andrews improved on his first round, and the team total was five strokes worse. Tupelo Christian Prep, meanwhile, shaved 28 strokes off its first-day score while playing on its home course.
St. Al, however, had a big enough lead to weather that storm, as well as the rainy weather that led to a more conservative approach and slightly higher scores.
"Since it was such a rainy round, I just told them to keep it in the fairway." Jones said.
St. Aloysius golfers Sarah Ruth Andrews, Laura Phillips, (step-grandaughter) and Anna Fletcher pose with the trophy after winning the MHSAA Class I Championship this Tuesday in Canton, MS.
Lady Vikes finish second in Class III
St. Aloysius finished third at its first girls state golf tournament in 2011. A year later it was second, a mere five shots away from winning. Tuesday, it climbed the final rung of the championship ladder.
Laura Phillips (step-granddaughter) shot a second-round 81 to finish fourth in the individual standings, and the Lady Flashes finished with a two-day total of 353 to win the MHSAA Class I Tournament at the Country Club of Canton.
St. Al beat St. Patrick of Biloxi by 12 strokes to end the Lady Irish's five-year run as state champions.
"It's awesome. We started this team when these girls were in eighth grade and they finished third. The next year we came in second and got beaten by St. Patrick again," St. Al coach Liz Fletcher said. "They came together. It was great. They were pumped."
Phillips finished with a two-day total of 173 and was fourth in the individual standings. St. Al's Anna Fletcher was fifth with a 180 and Sarah Ruth Andrews came in ninth with a 192.
Ingomar's Molly Hale was the medalist after shooting a 78 for a two-day total of 154. Our Lady Academy's Presley Baggett was three shots back at 157 and Hannah Mitchell of Pass Christian was third at 163.
Andres and Fletcher both shot in the mid-90's Tuesday. Phillips shot 81 - the fourth-best round of the day and an 11-shot improvement from the first round - to pick up the slack.
St. Al led St. Patrick by six shots entering the final round. Phillips was the only golfer from either team to break 90 on Tuesday.
"She shot a 42 on the front. She had a great round," Liz Fletcher said. "Her drive has always been key for her. She was a little off on her drives today, but she was nailing her chipping and putting."
After ending St. Patrick's dynasty, the Lady Flashes are now eyeing one of their own. All three golfers who played in the state tournament are sophomores. Three team members didn't play in the tournament - sophomores Beth Newman and Caroline Webb, and freshman Katie Martin - will also return next season.
Newman played in last year's state tournament, but did not qualify this year. Only a team's top three scorers at the division tournament advance to state.
"We are gunning for it. It sets the pace for what we need to do the next couple of years," Liz Fletcher said. "They're a young team. They'll be around for a couple of years." ~The Vicksburg Post
My congrats to Laura, my step-granddaughter! We are so proud of her and her accomplishments!