Fort Mill Times

Golfers from Fort Mill, Nation Ford high schools get ready to compete in S.C. state tournament

The Fort Mill Lady Yellow Jackets not only finished first in the Region 3A golf tournament with a team score of 366, but also landed four of the seven positions for the All-Region Team.

Then again, no one should be surprised; Fort Mill has not lost a match since gasoline cost less than $3 a gallon.

"The Lady Jackets have been undefeated in the regular season for the past two years," long-time coach Steve Gribble pointed out after the match at the River Hills Golf Course. "To have four of the girls on the All-Region Team is great."

Those making the All-Region Team and qualifying for the state tournament for Fort Mill were Amanda Hall (83), Sara Allen (89), Lauren Malone (94) and Olivia Attanasio (100).

Tommy "Tiger" Jordan of Lake Wylie, the swing coach for Amanda Hall and Anna Jenkins, followed both golfers closely along the 18 holes.

"The two are doing well," he said. "They are good competitors and great friends."

For two of the girls, the region match was a family affair.

"I am really proud of both of my girls," Kenny Hall of Tega Cay said. Hall, an avid golfer himself, is the stepfather of Malone and team captain Hall.

"The team has played well this season, but I know that it is important for Amanda to encourage the team to better themselves from last year when they play at state. My daughters have a lot of golf influence in our family, including two cousins that went to Winthrop and played golf.

"Although I have played for 16 years, during the months of September and October, I refer to myself as 'Caddy Daddy.' The girls know that you get out of golf what you put into it, so they are working very hard."

When asked about Amanda's game, Hall said he though the going was getting a little rough at the end.

"I knew Amanda was slipping by the time she reached the last holes, but she and Anna (Jenkins) are good competitors and we are happy for Anna qualifying as the medalist. The girls are friends and will not only practice together, but will also play the Lexington course before the state match. Amanda has next year to continue to improve, but as a senior, this is Lauren's last shot. Lauren is currently working at a golf course and will continue to enjoy the game after the season ends.

Looking ahead to the next test, Malone said, "I am glad we are all going to play together again at state."

Fort Mill's Kimberlyn Schilke was the fifth player, finishing with a 115.

"All the girls' play has been consistent, but we will work on improvements before we head to state," Gribble said.

Nation Ford High came in third in the region and also qualified to compete at the state level.

"I am thrilled. I can't believe we are going to state in our second year," Nation Ford head coach Brenda Stewart said.

"I don't really know what to expect, since this is my first time taking a team to state. The girls have some great athletic potential, and we will try to do our best."

Lady Falcons Emily White and Zharne Glover both shot a 105. Emily Baron finished with a 109. Shannon Connelly came in with a 120 and Katlyn Smith shot a 131. The team score of 439 put Nation Ford in third place.

The state tournament is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 20-21 in Lexington.