Spain Park boys and girls advance to state tournament

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

CALERA – Spain Park’s boys and girls have been on a tear all season and will now look to finish the year with the ultimate goal of a state championship after each qualified for the state tournament by finishing inside the top two at the sub-state tournament held at Timberline on Monday, May 7.

The girls will look to repeat as Class 7A state champions after winning the title in 2017, while the boys will look to add an eighth championship in the last 11 years winning the title in all but 2011, 2015 and 2017 since 2008, as Mountain Brook won it in each of those years.

Spain Park’s girls have looked like a state championship team so far this season and continued to show that level of success in the sub-state tournament where the Jaguars finished as co-champions alongside Hoover.

Both teams shot an aggregate total score of 222 after adding four scores together.

One reason for the Jags’ success in the event was Marilyn Steed’s 7-under round of 65. Steed’s unbelievable round on a difficult Timberline golf course led to her winning the low-medalist award at the event thanks to being the best individual golfer out of the four teams competing.

The next lowest score from Spain Park came from Caroline Waldrop, who has been consistently good in her time with the Jags. She finished the day with a 3-over par round of 75 to give here team two golfers with a score of less than 80.

Caroline McCabe and Taylor Trible also made some big shots during the tournament, and had to be clutch in order for the Jags to finish in a tie for the championship as one bad shot could have been the difference.

Trible ended the day with a round of 82, while McCabe shot 85.

Spain Park will look to bring home the school’s third title when the team heads to the state tournament in Muscle Shoals from Monday, May 14, through Tuesday, May 15.

Spain Park’s boys had an extremely impressive day, and posted one of their best tournaments of the season, but were slightly outdone by Mountain Brook, as the two teams continue challenging each other.

The Jags ended up with two rounds in the 60s and no rounds worse than 2-over par 74, but the Spartans were able to post three under par rounds during the day.

It could have been four rounds under par, but a 67 shot by Gordon Sargent was eventually disqualified.

Mountain Brook still ended up with a 6-under par round of 66 from Ford Clegg, a 5-under par round of 67 from Reynolds Lambert, and a 2-under par round of 70 from William Wann. The worst of their four scores to count was just a 3-over par round of 75 from Mac Scott.

That led to a total score of 278, which ended up being five strokes better than Spain Park’s aggregate total of 283 by five strokes.

The Jags were led by co-medalist Nick Dunlap, who shared the lowest round of the day thanks to a 6-under par 66. That was followed by Landon Carner with a 2-under par round of 70.

From there it was a consistent effort from three other golfers, the top two of which counted. Those two scores that counted toward the final score were Matt Stuart’s 1-over 73 and Ethan Hagood’s round of 2-over 74.

Just one stroke behind Hagood was Carter Goodwin, who shot a 3-over par 75 to give the Jags a balanced attack that will be needed in the state tournament.

Spain Park’s boys will look to top Mountain Brook as well as several others in the state tournament that will, like the girls tournament, be held in Muscle Shoals May 14-15.