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Expectations Abound for Patriot Golf

 (by Don Meador, Public Information Officer, Allen County Schools, July 27, 2018)

  The Allen County-Scottsville Patriot golf team returned to the fairways and greens last weekend to open the 2018 season. The Patriots will be looking to capitalize on the experience gained by several players in recent years. 

  “Every year at this time it seems like we talk about how young we are but this year we don’t have to do that as far as the experience we have coming back at the varsity level,” noted boys coach Scott Stamper. “We have two seniors and two juniors that played in the regional tournament last year. Those four kids have played a lot of tournament golf since they were eighth graders and freshman. Overall, I expect the four kids to be the leaders of this group and to be consistent with what they do. If they can do that, we are going to be okay.” 

  The team’s seniors are Brett Rippy and Tate Stinson. 

  “Brett has only been playing golf for three years, that’s golf as a whole, not just high school golf,” Stamper explained. “He is starting to figure out the game. He has really worked hard on his game in the past three and four months to figure out what he can and can’t do. He played on the junior PGA circuit in Tennessee this summer. I expect him to continue to learn and get that golf savvy that people talk about. The last couple of years, he has been pretty consistent and I’m hoping his numbers will lower a little and his consistency continues.”

  Stamper is looking for Stinson to also provide leadership and consistent scores.

  “Tate has the game and the ability to put up a low number every day,” Stamper said. “If his putter gets hot, he can create some damage on a golf course. Last year, he had our low round of the year for nine holes with a 31 at Kenny Perry’s. On the flip side, if he let things bother him a little bit, he gets down on himself and it’s hard for him to overcome that. We are focusing him being that guy that really solidify our team. He has to put it together for 18 holes and when he does that, we have a chance.”

  The juniors on the varsity tournament squad include Bryson Bonds and Owen Stamper. Both have played this summer on the junior golf circuit.  

  “Bryson is maturing as a golfer,” Stamper added. “Physically, he is getting stronger. That has caused a little issue in his swing right now. In the last two to three weeks, he’s been working hard on getting more consistency. That is a key. He will play 12 or 13 or 14 holes really well and then there is three holes when you ask yourself, what just happened. If we can get consistently for 18 holes with Bryson, that will solidify our team as well and give us a shot.”

  Owen Stamper continues to mature and develop his game. 

  “Owen has enjoyed a great summer,” coach Stamper said. “He finished second in the Kentucky Junior PGA Tour Championship, was third on the points list, was 14th on the national PGA Junior qualifier, and won three or four small tournaments. His scores this year will dictate how high up the ranking we go this year. Our guys depend on him. Owen has the ability to help offset someone else that’s having a bad day. If he puts together a really good day, that takes the pressure off someone else. On the flip side, if the other guys are consistent and have good days, that takes the pressure off Owen and he can just go play.”

  Owen Stamper will be looking to help AC-S return to the state championship golf tournament in October---an experience that Stamper enjoyed as an individual qualifier last year. Stamper posted a two-round score of 158. His +14 score tied him for 52nd among the 85 golfers who made the cut and played on both days of the state championship tournament. 

  Coach Stamper notes that several golfers are competing to earn time on the course and the fifth spot on the scorecard when the Region 3 golf tournament tees in late September in Franklin.

  “We are in a good position in that, right now, I have three other kids that, by the end of the year, any one could be our number five guy,” Stamper said. “Tanner McPeak, Peyton Cline, and Tyler Ford have all shown progression. I feel like they had a chance to push each other and maybe push Bryson and Brett a little bit in the conversation about who will play in the regional tournament. Junior Zac Dalton is also trying to figure his game out and get things going. He could be in that conversation as well “

  Stamper expects the district and region to be competitive as always. 

  “District wide, us and Monroe County should be the top two teams,” Stamper said. “Barren County and Glasgow will be rebuilding some things. Region wise, it’s a coin toss. I think Greenwood will surprise some people. They are a solid team with four or five good kids that are pretty solid. Bowling Green will be better. South Warren has one of the best golfers in the area in C.M. Nixon who has the ability to carry a team. Franklin-Simpson graduated almost all of their guys except a young man that shot 68 in the region last year. We will be in the mix. As always, it will depend on who plays well the day of the regional tournament. I think we have an outside chance to win the region.”

  To best prepare the Patriots for the region, AC-S’s schedule includes a heavy slate of tournaments. Not only do the 18-hole events offer the team a chance to enhance skills, the tournaments are a way to bond and create memories that will last a lifetime. 

  “The trend in high school golf the last three or four years is having tournaments before school starts,” Stamper explained. “This year, we have six scheduled before school opens. In the past, we would have played six tournaments all year. This year, we have nine of 10 tournaments.”

  The tournaments include events in Glasgow, Bowling Green, Franklin, Tompkinsville, and Danville. 

  “We were invited to the Battle of Old Bridge tournament in Danville on August 4,” Stamper said. “We have to play really well. It is an elite tournament. It will test the guys. The best of the best will be there; just about anybody that was in the state tournament last year. I think the guys will rise to the occasion. The tournament itself will also have some fun things for the kids like a long-drive competition, a closest to the pin contest, and a putting contest.”    

  The remaining members of the Patriot golf team---with the younger players competing this year during match-play rather than tournament events---include Rafe Blankenship, Tyler Ford, Jordan Pedigo, Joshua Sikes, and Eli Stamper. 

  The team’s home opener is slated for Thursday, August 16 against Warren East at the Scottsville Country Club. Home matches start around 4:30.    

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