By JESSE SMITHEY
Day One of TSSAA state golf tournament week commenced Monday, as Sevierville Golf Club is playing host to golf’s championship week for second year in a row.
The Division II-A boys and Division I Class A boys played Monday at Sevierville’s River Course (par 72) and will also play Tuesday’s final round on that track.
Meanwhile, the Division II-A girls and Class A girls played Sevierville’s Highlands Course (par 70) and will finish their tournaments Tuesday on the same layout.
The Division II-AA and Class AA state tournaments will be played Thursday and Friday at Sevierville Golf Club.
Here is where are our teams and players stand after Monday’s round.
BOYS GOLF – DIVISION II-A
The Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK) boys’ program has won five state team championships in a row — and a sixth might just be around the corner.
The Warriors led after the first round with a 19-over 307 total on Sevierville Golf Club’s River Course. Their advantage is just five shots, though. That isn’t much, especially considering four scores count toward the team total in boys’ golf.
Battle Ground Academy (BGA) was in second at day’s end Monday at 312. Jackson Christian School (JCS) was third at 315.
Powell’s First Baptist Academy (FBA) was sixth (336).
Three CAK players graced the top six spots in individual play.
Sophomore Cooper Russell shot 2-over 74 and was just one back of leader Eliot Brashear of BGA. Russell birdied Nos. 10, 11 and 13 Monday to find his way to even par. Bogeys at 16 and 18 kept him out of first.
CAK freshman Blake Russell was solo fifth at 76, and classmate Bryson White was tied for sixth at 77. Eighth-grader Tanner Varney posted 80 to round out CAK’s 307 mark.
Maryville Apostolic sophomore Collin Keino, a talented lefty, was fourth at 75. He played the last 11 holes in even after a tough start.
Other area noteworthy finishes include: Cooper Roberts (FBA) 80, Lane Stokes (FBA) 83, Landon Dyer (Berean Christian) 83 and Alexander Green (FBA) 84.
BOYS GOLF – CLASS A
The Kingston boys’ golf team has hopes of repeating like they did in 1999-2000, when they won their program’s first two boys’ golf state titles.
After winning it all last year for the first time since 2000, Kingston entered play this week as a favorite again.
And the Yellow Jackets will head into Tuesday’s final round just one stroke off the lead of Stewart County (26-over 314).
Kingston junior Will Bacon was the area’s low finisher. He birdied two of his final four holes to post an even-par round of 72. He sat alone in second place in the Class A boys’ field — but six shots back of Jason Cole Campbell of Summertown. Campbell made nine birdies in his round to soar up the leaderboard and almost out of reach.
Alcoa junior Riley Parsons is tied with South Greene’s Kolben Gregg for third place at 73.
Kingston, though, knows it can play better. Its other scorers that counted toward its opening 315 were: senior Will Mioduski (80), senior Blake Woody (81) and freshman Ethan Arneson (82). Kingston junior Parker Jones shot 86.
Kingston shot 307 and 312 totals last year to win.
Other area noteworthy finishes in Class A boys:
- North Greene senior and Lipscomb commit Aidan Collier, who won the 2022 5Star Preps Masters and nearly won the Class A state championships from 2019-21, stumbled out of the gates Monday. He’s tied for 26th at 83, along with Cumberland Gap’s Matthew McCorkle.
- Alcoa’s Noah Whitten was solo 17th place after Monday’s round thanks to his 79. The Tornadoes are in fifth place out of the eight participating teams.
GIRLS GOLF – DIVISION II-A
The CAK girls might be in fourth place but they’re just 15 shots back of leading Battle Ground Academy (7-0ver 147). Providence Christian (152) and Trinity Christian (155) are second and third, respectively, after the first round.
Isabella Coughlin, a freshman at CAK, led the Lady Warriors with a 79 at Sevierville Golf Club’s Highlands Course.
Eighth-grader Grady Thomas and sophomore Alexis Fishel each shot 83 to give CAK a first-day mark of 162.
BGA might be hard to catch if senior Bella Bugg (68) plays like she did Monday. She had three birdies, one bogey and 14 pars. Steady.
Bugg’s 68 was the low round of the day in girls Division II-A play.
Berean Christian’s Emery Fisher is tied for fifth after Round One with a 77.
GIRLS GOLF – CLASS A
The Kingston girls are just nine strokes back of four-time, defending-champion Summertown.
Summertown is led by junior Karlie Campbell, who carded a 4-under 66 Monday on the Highlands course to help Summertown post a 4-over 144 team total.
But Campbell’s 66 was still not the day’s low score in the girls’ Class A field.
That honor, unsurprisingly, was Sophie Linder’s.
The senior and Ole Miss commit is chasing her fourth consecutive individual title, and the Gordonsville standout fired a 7-under 63 — featuring four consecutive birdies on the back nine — to kick-start her charge.
Kingston’s Kailey Lane, who missed a good portion of the early part of the season due to injury, shot a 73 to wind up third individually heading into Tuesday’s final round.
Her 3-over mark and Brylee Crouse’s 80 (tied for eighth) made for Kingston’s 153 team total. Lane bogeyed five of six holes from Nos. 6-12 but bounced back with birdies at the par-4 15th and the par-5 17th.
Other noteworthy finishes from Day One:
- Greenback’s Lorien Sweet fired a 77 to position herself in sixth place alone.
- South Greene’s girls are in fourth place at 25-over 165 and were led by Lindsey Howlett’s 82 and Maylei Hildenbrand’s 83.