By JESSE SMITHEY
This dynasty from the Christian Academy of Knoxville boys’ golf program doesn’t seem to be dissipating anytime soon.
The Warriors are in position for their fourth state title in a row and seventh overall after an opening-round, 5-over-par 293 Monday at WillowBrook Golf Club in Manchester, Tenn.
That total was good enough for a 16-shot lead in the Division II-A team competition over Franklin Road Academy (309). Webb School of Knoxville (313), Evangelical Christian School (316), and Trinity Christian (317) are also still feasibly in the hunt.
Kaleb Wilson, the reigning 5Star Preps Boys’ Player of the Year, helped catapult CAK out front with an opening 2-under 70. That score leads the boys’ individual tournament by one stroke.
The junior’s eagle at his first hole — the par-4 10th — and birdies at Nos. 2, 7 and 9 negated bogeys at 6, 14 and 15. A season ago, Wilson finished third at the state, individually.
Jackson Hughey (71), John Meadows (76) and Benjamin Johnston (76) finished out CAK’s total.
Webb School of Knoxville senior Reece Britt, who was fourth in the state last year, is challenging again. He shot a first-round 71 on Monday and is one back of Wilson.
Berean Christian senior Cooper Hayes, a Lipscomb commit, shot 74 and is in sixth place.
Division II-A GIRLS
Northpoint Christian leads after Day One at 5-over 149. CAK, with a 168, is in fourth place. Webb is in sixth (212).
CAK senior Allie Cooper and CAK freshman Malerie Taylor each shot 84.
The individual lead is 74, shared by Ella Cress (Northpoint), Emily Wilson (FRA) and Caroline Pardue (Providence).
DIVISION II-AA TOURNAMENT
The Catholic boys may not have qualified, but the Irish sent two individuals: Harrison Thompson and Chase Fuller.
Thompson, a sophomore, opened with 74 and is tied for ninth, just four shots off the lead of Father Ryan’s Riley Grindstaff.
Fuller signed for an 86.
On the girls’ side, the Catholic girls were in third after Round 1 at 14-over 158. Lipscomb leads at 9-over 153.
Senior standout Kennedy Noe, who was runner-up in 2019, shot 3-over 75 and is in fourth place. Her teammate, Amelia Rechter, shot a solid 83 to keep Catholic in contention.
Anna Heck, a sophomore at St. Agnes, holds the individual lead at 3-under 69.
Her sister, Rachel, is a four-time Division II-AA state champion (2016-19) from St. Agnes and now plays at Stanford.
Anna Heck’s oldest sister, Abby, won Division II-AA individual titles for St. Agnes in 2014 and 2015 and was runner-up to Rachel Heck in 2016. Abby Heck now plays at Notre Dame.