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Patriot Golf Expecting Big Things in 2019
   The Allen County-Scottsville Patriot golf team has opened the season with four 18-hole events in five days---a challenging start to the season for a program eying the school’s first regional crown since 1990.

   “We have been building toward last year and this year with this group of guys,” coach Scott Stamper said. “Last year, we were left with a bitter taste in our mouth. We played really good at the regional tournament but missed going to the state tournament as a team by one shot. That’s like getting beat by a half-of-a-point in basketball.”

   The team lost Brett Rippy and Tate Stinson to graduation. However, several players are vying to step into their roles and find a spot on the five-member regional tournament team.

   “We do have a lot of guys returning,” Stamper added. “The majority of this team has tournament experience, probably the most tournament experience than we have ever had top to bottom. We have a good group of seniors and a mixed bag of juniors, sophomores, and freshman that have gotten some experience over the last couple of years. They have high expectations and they expect to perform well. I place high expectations on them. It comes down to how well you play on the day of the regional tournament.”

   Seniors are Bryson Bonds, Tyler Ford, Tanner McPeak, and Owen Stamper. The group is led by Stamper----who finished ninth last year as an individual in the state tournament and enters his final year after an outstanding summer on the Junior PGA circuit.

   “Owen put a little bit of pressure on himself to get some college coaches to take a look,” Coach Stamper noted. “He had an outstanding day at the Kentucky Junior Am. He set the course record and the Junior Am record and that opened some eyes. It also gave him some confidence. We expect him to lead the way for us. The guys look to him.”

   Returning seniors Bryson Bonds and Tanner McPeak continue to improve their games. Bonds played in several Junior PGA contests this year with McPeak taking part in several local events to sharpen his skills.

   “Bryson and Tanner along with Owen have been with us since fifth-sixth-or seventh grade,” Stamper said. “They also have high expectations for this team. The seniors care for each other and pull for each other. They have really bounded into the team concept and what we are trying to do.”

   Juniors Peyton Cline and Tyler Ford are expected to be in the mix.

   “I don’t want to jinx him but I’m expecting a lot out of Peyton this year,” Coach Stamper explained. “He has made some steps the last couple of years and I expect him to be one of the guys we depend on day-in and day-out. Tyler has made strides as well. I also have high expectations for him.”

   Additional underclassmen that will be on the course are sophomore Joshua Sikes and freshman Rafe Blankenship. 

   “Joshua battled an ankle injury this summer and is just now getting where he can play,” Coach Stamper pointed out. “Rafe has probably made more strides this summer than anybody we have got. He played a lot on the Junior Tour this summer and won an event in Bowling Green. He has come along way from starting to play with our team before last year. He has planted himself in the mix of the top five.”

   The team will include seventh-graders Eli Stamper, freshman Dillon Ausbrooks, and seventh-grader Peyton West. The trio will make up the junior varsity squad while pushing the older, more experienced players. 

   “The goal is to get the younger players great experience and position ourselves to be able to make a another run two of three years down the road with that group,” Coach Stamper said. 

   The Patriots enter the season in the mix for a region title and a spot in the state tournament October 10-12 at the Bowling Green Country Club.

   “We are not the favorite but I think we are a top three to top five team,” Stamper added. “We are in the mix. Bowling Green has the most players returning and Greenwood is as solid as a team that you will see. We are in the conversation. It all depends on what Owen does and if we can get a couple more guys to go with him, then we will have a great chance. You can’t count anyone out. Monroe County isn’t super strong but the (region) tournament is at their home course and they are really good there. It’s going to be an interesting race.”

   However, advancing beyond the region and into the two-day state tournament as a team has become increasing difficult. Last year, the region team champion and runner-up advanced along with the top three individuals not on the top two teams. This year the Kentucky High School Athletic Association has changed qualifying for state. 

   “Now, only the regional championship team and all their five players will advance,” Coach Stamper explained. “They will also take seven individuals not on the championship team. It does open it up for a few more individuals to qualify.”

   In theory, one school could have three, four, or even five players qualify as individuals. If a school were to have four or five players advance, even though they would have their entire team in the state, only the regional champions could win the state. That scenario would also be difficult for coaches who could find themselves with players spread out vastly at the state tournament---rather than playing within a few holes of one another as teams will do.  

   To prep for the strong regional field and earn recognition at the state level, Stamper has designed a schedule that will see his golfers participate in eight tournaments.  

   “We are playing in three new events,” Coach Stamper said. “We are going to Bowling Green Country Club twice for tournaments and play at Hidden Hills (Monroe County) several times to see the that course. We are going to Henry Clay’s invitational in Lexington and that course is tough. I picked the tournaments this year to expose the kids to some new golf courses and to test them, to see what they are made of. We will also be looking to earn some all-state points and playing against good teams on good golf courses will help us do that. We also are hoping to play in the All-State Coaches tournament. The top 15 teams in the state (based on All-State points by a certain date) and the top 30-40 individuals will be invited to the Big Blue Golf Course in Lexington. We are hoping the team can get into that. That is one of our goals.”

   The Patriots opened with tournaments this weekend at the Best of the West at Lake Barkley State Park and at the Dawson Springs Invitational at the Pennyrile State Park. Monday, the team will play at the Greenwood Gator Invitational at the Bowling Green Country Club. Tuesday, AC-S is at the Monroe County Invitational in Tompkinsville. Next Saturday, the Patriot golfers will be at the Henry Clay Invitational in Lexington. The home opener at the Scottsville Country Club with be a match against Greenwood on August 15.  

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570 Oliver Street, Scottsville, KY
Phone: (270) 618-3181
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