Tupelo’s West returns to defend 6A golf title

By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal

Tupelo’s Noah West, who won medalist honors in last season’s MHSAA Class 6A state golf tournament, is not alone in his quest for the 2012 title.
His Golden Wave teammates – Hayden Buckley, Blake Harris, Wilson Reeder and Austin Rose – all plan to be in the hunt when the 36-hole state tournament is played Tuesday and Wednesday at Canebreak Country Club in Hattiesburg.
“All these guys will be fighting to win medalist honors,” THS coach Mark Enis said. “All five have a chance. I couldn’t have said that in past years.
“I’m confident all five could medal in this tournament.”
Reeder, a senior, and Rose, a sophomore, finished second and third at last year’s state tournament. West, a senior, and Harris, a freshman, tied for medalist honors last month in the division tournament.
GOING FOR FIVE
Tupelo is also bidding to win its fifth consecutive state championship as a team and the program’s 11th overall since 1980.
“These players don’t want to be the team to break the streak,” Enis said. “We use that as motivation. They know they can’t just show up and win.
“These guys are competitive, but within a team concept. Our number one goal is to win a state championship.”
The Golden Wave spent the last two weeks working on its short game – chipping and putting. The 7,000-yard Canebreak course has large, undulating greens, many surrounded by sand.
“We’ll play a practice round there and break down the course,” Enis said. “It’s going to be different, but our guys will make adjustments.
“If your short game is sharp it will always keep you in contention.”
In girls golf, three Lady Wave players – Kathleen Reynolds, Mallory Lesley and Mary Bailey – qualified for the Class III state tournament in Canton.
SEEKING A THIRD
Baldwyn in 2A and Corinth in 4A will be bidding to win their third straight state championships.
Baldwyn, coached by Michael Gray, will be hosting its tournament at the Natchez Trace Golf Club on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Corinth, which moved up a classification this year, will play Wednesday and Thursday at Quail Hollow in Fernwood.

GIRLS STATE TOURNAMENT
Today-Tuesday
Class I, II and III, at Canton Country
Club

BOYS STATE TOURNAMENT
Tuesday-Wednesday
1A – Big Oaks, Tupelo
2A – Natchez Trace, Saltillo
3A – Canton CC, Canton
5A – Columbus CC, Columbus
6A – Canebreak CC, Hattiesburg
Wednesday-Thursday
4A – Quail Hollow, Fernwood