BY COREY CUSICK THE TIMES-GEORGIAN
The Carrollton High School boys' golf team is in fourth place in the AAAAA team standings with a 307 on Day 1 at Planterra Ridge Country Club in Peachtree City, trailing defending state champion and state host Starr's Mill (296), McIntosh (302) and Ola (303) in the 12-team field.
Junior Mario Perezcassar III turned in a round of 1-over 73 (36-37) to lead the Trojans and put himself in a sixth-place tie individually, while freshman Luke Pezold shot a 76 (39-37) to tie for 15th, junior Cole New finished with a 77 (39-38) to tie for 19th, freshman Jacob Shadrix (42-39) and senior Clay Fontenot both carded an 81 (35-46) to tie for 35th and freshman Will Griffith's 92 (46-46) put him in a tie for 64th.
"We're in the hunt. If we go out and play really well, we've got a shot at it," Trojan head coach Kurt Hitzeman said. "We've certainly got a shot for second, but we have to play really well."
The fifth-year Trojan head coach said it was a promising start, but now it's a matter of finishing strong on Day 2.
"We still feel like there's some shots we left out there, but overall we played really well as a team. I'm very proud of the guys," Hitzeman said. "They competed well. Going into (today), it looks like a two-day tournament. This is why we play so many two-day tournaments is to be prepared for state. So hopefully our experience will show compared to some of these other teams who haven't played as many."
The Carrollton girls' golf team is also in fourth place in the 11-team field with a round of 285 at Braelinn Golf Club in Peachtree City.
Senior Taylor Gray led the Lady Trojans with an 11-over 83 (40-43), followed by Morgan Gray with a 99 (52-47) and Abigail Duke at 103 (49-54). Caroline Fjeran was the No. 4 player on Monday, shooting a 111 (50-61).
Starr's Mill set the tone for a state title repeat with a 238, sitting 15 strokes ahead of second-place Veterans (253).
The Lady Trojans are in a tight race for third place, entering today's final round three strokes off third-place South Effingham (282) and one stroke ahead of Ware County (286).
"It's kind of as expected. Starr's Mill and Veterans played pretty well. Taylor played really well. She's in (seventh) individually and then the other girls played about to their season average," Carrollton assistant coach Joel Gray said. "Overall, we're happy with where we're at. We're hoping we can gain a few strokes (today) and finish in the two or three spot."
Individually, Taylor Gray is in a three-way tie for seventh place and is nine shots off the lead for low medalist, as Liza Eubanks of Starr's Mill fired a 2-over 74. The Lady Panthers had three individuals in the top five.