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Hornets dreaming of state golf title gold

Members of the Loyd Star golf team went to bed Saturday nightdreaming of state tournament gold. After a third place finish lastyear, the Loyd Star Hornets aim for the championship this week inthe Class 2A State Golf Tournament. It starts Tuesday at the WolfHollow Golf Club on the Copiah-Lincoln Community College Wessoncampus.

The state tournament will feature 36 holes. The teams will play18 holes on Tuesday and 18 on Wednesday. A practice round will beheld Monday.

Sixteen teams will participate in the tournaments; 8 in Class 2Aand 8 in Class 1A. A total of 95 players will compete.

Does Loyd Star feel confident about winning a state title?

“We are very optimistic,” answered Loyd Star coach Ricky Myers.”My young guys have improved and our experienced guys haveimproved, too.”

Senior Trent Maddox and junior Jody Britt are the leaders of theLoyd Star team. The other three varsity members are freshman BlakeWindham, Josh Wright and Chris Hester. Freshman Dylan Britt ranksas first alternate.

The freshman trio of Hester, Wright and Windham shoot andaverage score of 80 per round.

Maddox averages 77.5 per round.

Jody Britt has been recovering from ACL knee surgery performedfive weeks ago. Last Tuesday he shot a 76 in a practice match withCathedral. In last year’s state tournament, Britt shot 85-74-159 atWolf Hollow.

Maddox also scored 159 with a 79-80. “Trent has been real steadyfor us this year,” said Myers. “When we were without Jody, we wereplaying a senior and all freshmen. Trent has given us a lot ofleadership.”

Myers said Britt would wear a knee brace and use a pull cart toease the load on his right leg. “He hits the ball long. He’s anatural.”

Natchez Cathedral, the defending Class 2A state champion,dropped down to 1A this year. Booneville, the 2A runner-up, waspromoted to 3A.

In Class 2A, Myers said Gulfport St. John and Bruce will betitle contenders. In Class 1A, Cathedral probably has the best shotalthough the team has not played well at Wolf Hollow this season.West Union is the defending 1A champion and should be acontender.

In the Pine Belt International near Hattiesburg, Loyd Star wonthe South Jones Invitational. The Hornets shot a 315 and St. Johnshot 316.

“There’s also an advantage of playing at home, too,” Myerspointed out. Loyd Star’s best-ever score of the season was a 308 atWolf Hollow. Other Hornet scores included Wright with a 73, Windhamat 78, Hester at 86 and Dylan Britt with at 87.

Myers said golf can be an unpredictable sport. “You have gooddays and bad days.”

This is the fifth year for Loyd Star to have a golf team. Myershas directed the team from its birth and the Hornets have steadilyimproved.

Sophomore Leland Hinton of Wesson will compete as an individualin 2A. Hinton shot an 82 in the Division 3-2A Tournament held atWolf Hollow two weeks ago. In the state tournament he shot79-74-153 and finished fourth in the medalist race.

In the state tournament, there will be one medalist plus thenext best five scores on the all-state tournament team.

Loyd Star will host a state tournament banquet Tuesday night atCo-Lin’s Thames Center for players and coaches, starting at 7p.m.

“The course is in good shape,” said Myers. “It could use somerain.”

On holes No. 6 and 7 and No. 13 and 14, a cart will be providedto help the players cope with the severe hill climb to tee boxes.”Our kids have walked this course a lot of times,” said Myers. “Weare used to the hills.”

Chuck Holloway is the PGA professional at Wolf Hollow.

“I’m happy to be playing the state tournament on our homecourse,” said Myers.

Last year Cathedral won the 2A title with a 2-day total of 652.Booneville was second at 664 and Loyd Star shot 666