Recent results and current rankings suggest the power of boys Class 4A golf resides along the I-35 corridor.
Based on experience and momentum, though, Frenship might have something to say about the outcome of this year’s state tournament that starts today in Austin. After finishing eighth in 2010 and losing a playoff for third last year, the Tigers say they aren’t conceding anything to Highland Park and Austin Lake Travis, the last two state champions.
“We’re wanting to win,” Frenship senior Chad Meador said Sunday from Austin. “We’re not here to get second or third. We’re here to go out there and show everybody how good West Texas boys are.”
Meador and Jack Vanderburg were on the team that finished eighth and last two years ago. Those two plus Hunter Rawls and Jace Foster are back from the team that improved to fourth last year after losing a playoff with the Montgomery Purple team. Sophomore Josh Montoya is the only newcomer in the lineup.
The Tigers are playing on Jimmy Clay Golf Course again, same as before, so they should reap some benefit from course knowledge and tournament experience. In the 2010 and 2011 tournaments in Austin, Frenship scored lower in each round than the round before.
“We’ve been around it and know the lay of the land pretty well right now,” Meador said. “We’re ready to get out on it and take care of business.”
Austin Lake Travis won the 2011 title with Dallas Highland Park second. The year before, it was Highland Park first and Lake Travis second. This time around, Lake Travis is ranked No. 1, Trophy Club Byron Nelson No. 2, Highland Park No. 3 and Frenship No. 7.
Frenship players tee off from 8:55 a.m. to 9:35 a.m. today in the first round of the 36-hole tournament. Each of the Tigers will be in foursomes with players from Highland Park, Lake Travis and Port Neches-Groves.
Frenship edged Trophy Club Nelson by one stroke to win the Region I-4A tournament two weeks ago at Diamondback Golf Club in Abilene, posting four scores in the 70s for the final round.
“Regionals was a huge thing, us beating Byron Nelson, because they’re one of the best teams in the state,” Meador said. “So are we. It was a real good confidence boost, us getting past them and being able to say we won our region.”
Frenship coach Roger Reding said he liked what he saw from his team over those two days. He said they played smart and competitive in a high-pressure situation.
“It’s a special group of kids,” Reding said. “They love to play and they love to practice. I’m really fortunate to be around a group like this.
“Hopefully, we compete and play like we did down here last year. We were definitely in the thick of it last year. I hope we control our emotions and play like we’re capable of.”
The last two years, in order, Frenship shot 327, 325, 312 and 310. If the Tigers keep that trend going, they should contend.
In the process, they could combat some negative stereotypes they perceive from their downstate brethren.
“Oh, yeah,” Meador said. “We get a lot of grief for having a low ball flight and everything like that, hitting big draws that you hit in West Texas. Around here, they hit it high and land it on the greens. They don’t think West Texas golf is real good like it is down here. We want to show them we can come down to Austin and play just as good as them on their golf course.”
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UIL state tournaments
Here are the dates and locations for the University Interscholastic League state golf tournaments this week in Austin.