The Carroll boys golfers collected their second state championship last week, while the top two individuals also sported the distinctive green and white.
Carroll led after the first day of completion in Austin and held on the rest of the way, beating Austin Westlake by seven strokes. Plano West finished third.
Colin Kober was the state medalist for Carroll, with teammate Mason Greenberg finishing second. They shot 142 and 145 totals, respectively. Other members of the championship team included Ben Fernandez, Triston Fisher and George Gardner. The state titles now total two each for the boys and girls teams.
The team was on a roll heading into the state meet, having won the district and regional meets leading up to the trip to Austin. At the regional, Plano West was just one shot behind Carroll.
Going into the state meet, Westlake held the top ranking with Carroll at number two. The top two teams had played each other twice during the season with each team once bettering the other.
But it was the state meet that mattered.
“At the start of the year, there are 400 teams and by the time you get down to the 16 teams at state, they’ve all proven themselves,” said Carroll head coach Matt Glenn.
Carroll shot a two-day total of 588. The first day was an impressive performance, with the Dragons shooting 288. The weather and second day grind and pressure produced a 300, still good enough for the championship.
Carroll is often considered a state title threat, and Glenn said the program’s excellence has set its own standard and expectations.
“We have a very competitive program with high expectations and goals,” Glenn said. “They have to compete well just to qualify for the team. That helps at crunch time. But this group is unique by how much they root for each other. It’s a very unselfish group which helps make them a great team.”
It’s a loaded team in addition to the quality of individuals that Glenn knows he’s fortunate to coach. Both Kober and Greenberg are juniors and will be back next year. They’ll be joined by others who have had plenty of quality tournaments and experience.
Glenn estimates as many as 10 Carroll players from this year’s squad will be playing Division I college golf at some time. And there’s no rest for the weary.
Many of the players will be playing all summer in qualifying tournaments and looking for opportunities to be seen by collegiate scouts. The summer is a critical time for golfers to improve and gain experience.
The spring season didn’t afford much playing time due to the weather. Glenn said having to cancel about seven or eight tournaments put the Dragons behind. In addition, due to testing during the school year, the state tournament was moved two weeks earlier than in previous years.
The team will break the routine of 6:30 a.m. workouts and put in more course time in the afternoon for a short time, but the unity of the team almost prevents the squad from staying away too long.
“To get to this point, there are 15 kids that have become their own family. It’s like a brotherhood,” Glenn said. “It’s an honor to coach them and they are a class act in every way. They put their heart and soul into it. It’s gratifying to see them accomplish a major feat.”
The Carroll girls also qualified for the state tournament and finished 11th as a team.