The Christian Academy of Knoxville boys’ golf team won consecutive state titles in 2014-15.
But that was in Class A/AA.
Now, the Warriors are just one round away from repeating as Division II-A state champions. University of Tennessee commitment Cade Russell fired an even-par 72 at WillowBrook in Manchester, Tenn., carding three birdies on his final nine holes to put him into a tie for third individually.
His 72 went towards CAK’s four-man total of 16-over 304, which was 11 shots clear of Christ Presbyterian Academy and 17 shots ahead of Franklin Road Academy.
Patton Samuels (Clarksville Academy) led the boys’ individual championship with a first-round 70. The final round will be played Tuesday.
A CAK win Tuesday would give the program six boys’ state championships. CAK’s Aaron Frazer and Kaleb Wilson each signed for a 76 Monday and were tied for seventh individually. Wilson over came a triple-bogey and double-bogey on his opening nine holes.
Mitchell Deeson’s 80 rounded out the Warriors’ scoring.
As for Russell, he has a chance Tuesday to join University of Alabama golf standout Davis Shore as the only individual boys’ champions in CAK history.
Webb School of Knoxville’s Eli Mayes was 1 under through 12 holes and contending early for a shot at an individual championship but signed for 78.
The CAK girls’ team was in fifth place after Day 1 at 44-over 188. The three CAK golfers – Kate Faulkner (93), Allie Cooper (95) and Kennedy Smith (97) — occupied the Nos. 13-15 spots on the leaderboard.
Grace Christian’s Virginia Pirkle was sixth after the first round with an 86, which is 13 shots off the pace of leader Tzu Polita (Franklin Road Academy).