The Mansfield boys golf team will return to the state meet this year, a place where the Tigers expect to be each spring.
The Tigers, under the direction of head coach Trampas Wilson for the last seven years, have been to the state tournament six times. Last year was the only season when Mansfield stayed at home during the state event.
After qualifying two teams for the regional meet held last week, Mansfield was able to finish third the regional event with its re-shuffled top-five lineup on the winning team. The top three teams advance to the state meet in Austin on April 27-28 at the UT Golf Club.
It was the seventh time in a row Mansfield had qualified two teams for the regional meet after finishing 1-2 at the district meet.
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At the regional, a repeat of last year had to be creeping into the mind of the Tigers.
The Tigers were down eight strokes on the second day. After the first hole on the second day, that deficit crept up to 11 shots.
“We started making a charge and then went from four down after 12 holes to being four up,” Wilson said.
Four of the five golfers from Mansfield shot par on the back 9.
The regional win was fully a team effort, Wilson said.
“Our fifth player, a senior, shot a 69 and was -1 for the event,” Wilson said. “That set the table for the whole team.”
The competitors and their scores at regionals were Colin Clark, 72-23; Preston Woodard, 74-71; Landon Ernst, 76-69; Zach Howe, 76-74; and Nick Narcisse, 79-75.
As a team, Mansfield shot 298 and then came back on the second day to register a 287.
Southlake Carroll was the regional champion, with Plano West taking second.
It was a slow trek back to Austin for the Tigers.
“We played well all year in the fall,” Wilson said. “But with all the snow, we never really did rebound. We got back to the regional and started playing well. We played 11 times at Waterchase (the regional course location), so I knew that if we got out there and if we got comfortable in the tee box, we’d shoot a good score and it ended up being that way.”
The Mansfield girls team had also qualified for the regional meet after finishing as the runner-up at the district meet.
Girls head coach Christopher Coursey said the Lady Tigers finished 12th at the regional tournament.
The regional meet appearance is a long-standing tradition for Mansfield, now appearing in the meet for the last 25 years in a row.
Other teams playing at the regional meet were the Lake Ridge and Summit girls teams.
Lake Ridge had won the district meet, with Summit taking runner-up honors.
Neither 5A girls team qualified for the state meet.
The Legacy boys had also competed at the regional meet but finished out of the top three spots, missing the chance to move on to play in Austin.