Northside golf finishes 10th at state championships

Published 7:52 pm Tuesday, May 12, 2015

DAVID CUCCHIARA | DAILY NEWS LEADING THE PANTHERS: Junior Tucker Mooring shot a 174 through two rounds of golf at the Foxfire Golf and Country Club on Tuesday.

LEADING THE PANTHERS: Junior Tucker Mooring shot a 174 through two rounds of golf at the Foxfire Golf and Country Club on Tuesday.

JACKSON SPRINGS — The Northside golf team finished in 10th place on Tuesday at the NCHSAA 1-A state championships, held on the Grey Fox Course at the Foxfire Golf and Country Club.

While the program has sent a handful of golfers to the title match over the years, this season marked the first time Northside qualified as a team.

“All along, our goal was to make it to states this year,” said head coach Joe Burns. “We weren’t dead set on making history. That was just kind of a side note to be honest with you. It was a great storyline and I’m honored to be the coach of a team that made history, but our goal this season was to put Northside golf back on the map.”

With just one senior, Northside entered as one of the youngest teams competing at the championships. Early on, their youth showed.

Overconfident shooting on Day 1, Monday, resulted in a rather ugly team score of 401 through the first 18 holes. The team all but out of the competition, Burns went on to use the final day as more of a learning experience, giving his younger guys the opportunity to adapt to pressure situations against the state’s top competition.

And it paid off. Northside shot a 383 on Tuesday, bumping the team up from 11th to 10th place, moving into a tie with, appropriately enough, the Coastal Plains Conference champion Lejeune. Eastern regional foe Manteo went on to finish in 12th place.

“You can’t climb to the top of the mountain the first time you climb it, in my opinion,” Burns said. “Golf is such a physical and mental sport. Mentally, at this age, you have to take it in steps. Finishing tied for 10th, beating Manteo and tying Lejeune, who won our regional, I think it was a great positive. We feel great about ourselves going into next season.”

Junior Tucker Mooring finished with a team-low 30 over par and tied for 31st place overall. The Northside No. 1 had one of the best turnarounds at the tournament, shooting a 94 on the first day and bouncing back on Tuesday with an 80.

It was a similar story for freshman Riley Van Staalduinen, who shot a 95 on Monday and an 83 on Tuesday, finishing in 37th place at 34 over par.

Senior Trenton Clayton finished tied for 59th place with a two-day score of 204, while Evan Cornelius shot a 228. Hunter Williams finished with a 235.

Reilly Erhardt of Bishop McGuinness fired a three-under par 69 on Tuesday to lock up the individual state championship, while his school won the team championship by a comfortable 44 strokes (598). Lincoln Charter finished in second with a score of 642 and Starmount third with a 674.

The course was set at par 72 and 6,641 yards for the championship. A total of 72 golfers competed in the two-day tournament.

“The future is bright and I’m excited to be apart of it,” Burns said. We had a learning experience after out first day. We realized we couldn’t go out and do something they weren’t capable of. They learned to take it one shot at a time and I was so proud of the way they came back.”
“I expect us to be a real threat next year with Lejeune and Manteo both graduating a few seniors from their programs. I expect to be the preseason favorites going into the season to win the conference, win regionals and possibly contest for a state title.”