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Champions punch ticket to state meet, win region

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Champs carded the lowest team score to take the Region 6A/AA championship on Tuesday afternoon. Competing members of the team in 2012 are (back row, from left) Bryce Clinton, Lucas Dunnavant, Jake Pimental, Mason Brewer, Coach Chad Spencer; (Front row, from left) Tanner Burks, Tyler Huff, and Chad Gordon.
(Submitted photo)
LAWRENCEBURG -- Neither soggy course conditions nor a 24-hour delay could derail the Cascade Champions as they repeated as region champions in the Region 6 A/AA tournament on Tuesday afternoon.

The Champs bested second-place Marshall County 322-358 to clinch a return trip to the TSSAA state tournament, which will be held at WillowBrook Golf Course next week.

Just last week, the Champs endured a rough day on the links in the district tournament at Henry Horton Golf Club to claim the 2012 District 11 A/AA championship.

"We've had a really good season. We went undefeated in every match. We didn't play our best round in the district, but we played good enough to win," said Cascade coach Chad Spencer.

But the Champs returned to form on Tuesday.

Senior Jake Pimental was able to shake off a tough outing last week and returned to the region, posting the lowest score to claim match medalist honors with his final score of 75.

Cascade placed three players in the 30's through nine, but Pimental turned on the afterburners on the back nine and shot an even par 36 to claim the medalist honors.

"He had a wake up call during the district and he played like he had something to prove," said Spencer.

On fire

While Pimental scorched the back nine, Bryce Clinton lit up the front nine with a one-over 37 at the turn. Clinton's efforts earned him a third-place overall finish.

Chad Gordon finished third for the Champs with an 82 final score, after carding a 41 at the turn.

Tanner Burks turned in a final score of 87 with teammate Lucas Dunnavant finishing one stroke back with an 88.

A big part of the teams' successes on Tuesday came from being prepared, according to Spencer.

"They've played enough tournaments and I think they handle the nerves a little bit better than some of the kids they're playing," he said.

But even with the added pressure of playing in a big-time event, the Champs thrived and put together one of their best performances of the season.

"Being prepared and their experience has been such a big asset to us. Now they're playing in front of bigger crowds and they're doing a great job handling it," Spencer said.

Region match medalist Jake Pimental lines up his putt and drops the shot on hole two. Pimental carded the lowest individual score of the day to lead the Champs to the win on Tuesday.
(T-G Photo by Chris Siers) [Order this photo]
Focus on state

With the region championship in the books, the Champs shift their focus to the TSSAA state tournament next week, which will be held over the course of two days in which players will play a pair of 18-hole rounds with the hopes of taking the school's first-ever state title.

"I hope the kids can put another good round together and hope we can have a good showing. I think we have a chance to win it if everybody is focused. We have two rounds, so you never know what can happen," Spencer said.

Bearing that in mind, the Champs will spend their time prior to the first tee shots in the state tournament focusing on bettering the fundamentals.

"We've got to be prepared. We have to take from now until then and work on the little things like the short game, putting, and getting out of bunkers.

"We've got to stay away from big numbers. The occasional bogey here and there won't hurt you that bad. The rough will be up and they'll have to hit the fairways. We want to hit as many greens in regulation as we can," Spencer said.

Lady Champs

While the Champs earned their time in the spotlight on Tuesday, the Lady Champions also competed in the region tournament as well.

The team, made up of Allison Massey and Shaina Schneider competed individually against some of the best golfers in the mid-state.

Massey Carded a 114 final score while Schneider turned in a 112.

"They had a great season with just those two girls. I'd like to get two more girls who would like to learn the game of golf. It teaches you so much with integrity and perseverance. I'd like to see more young girls at Cascade start to play golf and enjoy it," Spencer said.

While the Lady Champs season ended on Tuesday, the Champs will get a few more practice rounds in at Blackberry Ridge Golf Course and River Bend Country Club for their final preparations before heading to the state tournament next week in Manchester.

"We're so blessed to have the Jarrells out at Blackberry Ridge letting our team come out and practice as well as River Bend Country Club. My guys play out at either place every day.

"The members at both clubs are very supportive of the boys. That means a lot when the other golfers in town see my guys and give them words of encouragement," Spencer said.

Cascade will begin the state tournament on Monday with their practice round at WillowBrook and will follow with their opening round on Tuesday before concluding on Wednesday.

Cascade- 322

Bryce Clinton- 78

Jake Pimental- 75

Chad Gordon- 82

Tanner Burks- 87

Lucas Dunnavant- 88

Allison Massey- 114

Shaina Schneider- 112

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