Competing in sectionals will be the boys teams from Creekview and Etowah and the girls teams from Creekview and Woodstock. The Etowah girls will bypass the sectional and go directly to the Class AAAAAA state meet after winning the Region 5AAAAAA title.
Similarly, River Ridge’s Savannah Freeman, who qualified as an individual, will go directly to the Class AAAA state tournament. So, too, will Woodstock’s Kevin Burns and Cherokee’s Catlin Woodall in Class AAAAAA.
That leaves four teams playing Monday at four different locations.
The Creekview boys will compete at White Oak Golf Club’s Seminole Course in Newman. The Creekview girls will play at Canongate I Golf Club’s Lee Course in Sharpsburg. The Etowah boys will play at Canongate at Georgia National in McDonough, and the Woodstock girls will compete at Heron Bay Golf Course in Locust Grove.
Each sectional is an 18-hole event, with the top performers advancing to the state tournaments in two weeks.
Etowah boys coach Phil Dutko said at least one of his players has some familiarity with the sectional course from tournaments throughout the year. Dutko said he wouldn’t know much about it until doing a bit of research and taking a look around. He expected to do that today.
Creekview girls coach Casey Gramling thinks his team has a good shot at winning the sectional. With the top teams from each region having already qualified for the state meet and not at the sectional, Gramling thinks it’s a good opportunity for the Lady Grizzlies.
“I think we have a pretty good chance,” Gramling said. “All three of my girls are good golfers and I think they have a chance to go in there in win it.”
The most important thing that Gramling needs to do is make sure that none of his girls are disqualified. With just three golfers, one disqualification would eliminate the entire team.
“Hopefully, we can go through without us having just three girls being an issue,” Gramling said. “It is stressful.”
The Woodstock girls, who qualified as the No. 4 team from Region 5AAAAAA, narrowly qualified. Now that they are in the sectional, coach Derek Engram hopes they make the most of the experience. There are 16 teams in the sectional playing for 10 spots in the state tournament.
“We are excited to be going back,” Engram said. “I think that we have a very good shot to be one of those 10 teams moving on. That is our focus right now — move on to play in Augusta.”
Engram said no one from his team is familiar with the course. They will be making the trip today and then spending the afternoon mapping it out.
“We will be out there until dark just going through the course,” he said. “We want to see what holes cause a lot of trouble. We are going to try to map out the trouble spots and then roll the dice on Monday.”
Engram said not only will the course be new, so will the opponents. Aside from Walton and Milton, the Lady Wolverines haven’t really played any of the other teams that will be at the sectional.
“I don’t really know how to judge any of them except to say that we made it, and so did they,” Engram said.