SYLACAUGA -- The Sylacauga High School boys golf team will compete in the Class 5A state championship tournament at the Robert-Trent Jones at Capital Hill course in Prattville on Monday morning.
The Aggies were one of four teams to advance to the two-day tournament. Sylacauga will compete against UMS-Wright, Russellville and Guntersville.
“It is a really big thing,” Sylacauga head coach Greg Lane said. “I know Sylacauga has played in the finals before, but never since they changed the setup on how to get there.
“Now you have to go through sectionals, sub-state, and only four teams get to make it to state.
“Our goal this year was to make it to the state tournament because we came up short the last two years.”
The Aggies finished second behind UMS-Wright in a sub-state tournament in Mobile to advance.
Qualifying for state was sweet for the Aggies for several reasons, but defeating Briarwood at sub-state to advance added a level of significance.
“Briarwood has been that team that has kept us out the last two years,” Lane said. “The guys knew that we had to beat them, and we did. We beat them by 10 strokes.”
Lane was pleased his team played well enough to move on, but he hopes his guys will play their best rounds of golf when it matters most.
“I guess the best thing is that we still aren’t playing our best golf,” Lane said. “We still did not take the scores that we should have taken.
“The goal that I set out for them as a team to shot is 310. We shot a 328 (at sub-state), so weren’t even close to that. We had guys that should have been shooting in the 70s that were in the 80s.”
The Aggies are familiar with Capital Hill course.
This will be the third time in two seasons for Sylacauga to tee off at that course. Lane was pleased with the way his team played in the Prattville Invitational in March.
“We shot well,” he said. “We shot a 314. Even that day, that was taking a score that was way out the way of where it should’ve been.
“We know that 310 is achievable. … Probably the best comment that I got from my players talking about (state) is that we won’t feel any pressure. Our goal this year was to make it.
“Yes, we would love to win state. Do I believe these guys are good enough? Yes, I do. I think they are playing more relaxed because they have reached their goal. The rest of it is icing on the cake.”
The 2018-19 school year has been one to remember for Sylacauga athletics.
The football team played in the postseason. The boys basketball team reached the Elite 8. The tennis team made it to the state tournament. The baseball team advanced to the 5A semifinals, and the softball team qualified for regionals.
And now, the boys golf team is state bound.
“It is something that our athletic director and head football coach, (Matt Griffith), and I were talking about the other day,” Lane said. “You can’t find many schools that have it all working like we are.
“One of the things that we credit it to is that all of the coaches work together. We are all on the same page; we are all supporting one another. (Friday) at baseball and softball, you probably saw every coach and every administrator because we are all out there supporting each other. I think that helps.”