Boys’ golf team takes 8th at State

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By Keith Sparks

The Liberty Hill boys’ golf team finished eighth at the State Tournament on Tuesday, improving upon their score from Monday by a total of seven strokes. Their two-day total of 653 was eight strokes off of a fourth-place finish in a crowded race.

The Panthers finished behind Monahans in first, Argyle in second, Gatesville in third, Andrews and Melissa tied fourth, Paris in sixth, and Fredericksburg in seventh. Liberty Hill was led by senior Parker McCurdy, who had a team low 153. John Baker was second on the team with 159, Donny Harper was third with 168, Charlie Calabretta was fourth with 181, and Matt Sterling was fifth with 183.

Head Coach Ryan Revere said he was slightly disappointed by the outcome, primarily because they were only eight strokes away from a top-four finish.

“We played better on day two, but couldn’t gain ground on anybody,” Revere said. “We finished eighth, but only eight strokes away from fourth, so it’s a tough one to swallow.”

Looking back, Revere said at least eight putts lipped out over two days, which otherwise would have given them the top-four finish they were so close to achieving.

“Just going back and fourth between our five guys, I saw with my own eyes eight putts lip out,” Revere said. “With the diameter of the cup and the diameter of the ball, that’s a millimeter off, so reflecting on that, that’s a hard one to swallow being that close. They could have fallen the other way and we could be sitting in fourth feeling pretty good.”

Overall, though, Revere said if he could describe their season with one word, it would be “proud,” particularly of his seniors.

“Those are three great seniors, Parker, Donny, and John,” Revere said.

This was McCurdy’s third trip to the State Tournament, having already gone once with the team as a freshman and again as an individual his junior year. Considering how difficult it is to make it even once, Revere said McCurdy’s high school career was “pretty miraculous.”

“I mean, that’s pretty incredible to make four trips total if you count basketball,” Revere said of McCurdy’s high school career. “You think about of all the kids that played, only 72 get to make it each year. To be able to be there three times is pretty miraculous. It definitely helped his demeanor. He was definitely calm.”

Plum Creek Golf Course ended up being considerably more difficult than the Panthers had anticipated, primarily because of the unpredictable winds they dealt with, which rivaled the winds they dealt with in Corpus Christi during regionals.

“We got to play three days between the practice round and two days for State, and literally every day we played, it was a totally different course,” Revere said. “For the practice round, a couple tee boxes moved from then to day one. Then day one, the wind was as bad or worse than Corpus, and we weren’t ready for that kind of wind. The course is kind of low, so on the tee box you’d feel it in your face, then on the green, it would be crosswinds. They battled the whole 18 holes trying to figure out how to play that wind, and it was definitely tricky.”

Now, Revere said the younger golfers have some pretty big shoes to fill, but he expects Sterling and Calabretta, both underclassmen, to take big steps next season. He also hopes the golf team’s recent success will motivate younger Panthers to join the team, as well.

“We definitely have some big shoes to fill,” Revere said. “Those three seniors were phenomenal, but between Charlie and Matt, they’re ready to go back. They said, ‘Hey, it may just be the two of us,’ but we’re looking for some incoming freshmen that can come in and play some golf, as well as some kids that are here in high school already.”

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