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NAHS has worked hard over the last few seasons to become one of the dominant teams in golf, and both boys and girls are looking to add to their success with the state championships taking place this week and next.
The girls competed at Patrick Farms Golf Club in Brandon on Monday and Tuesday, and came away with a third place finish, improving from their fifth place finish in 2008.
"We were proud that they were able to make such a significant jump," NAHS golf coach Robert Garrett said. "There were about 18 teams down there and there are 56 girls teams in the state, and we got third, so our girls were proud. I was hoping our girls would make some improvement from last year. I was proud of their effort, and they improved from the first day to the second, but I have two seniors that will be hard to replace.”
The two senior Lady Bulldogs are Haley Berryhill and Jenna Davis. Davis led NAHS, shooting a 90 in both rounds, while Berryhill had a 94 both days.
This is only the third year that Mississippi High School Activities Association has held a girls team championship in golf, and the Lady 'Dawgs will look to improve even more in 2010.
The boys will be in action next week at River Birch Country Club in Amory, a course that Garrett is trying to have his team become familiar with before the tournament.
"What we're doing now is we're going to River Birge two or three days a week and just playing the course down there," Garrett explained. "They haven't had much rain. The boys went yesterday and played while it was raining here, so we're going to go back and play the course as much as we can before the tournament comes.”
Garrett took his team to Myrtle Beach earlier in the season and attributes their momentum and success from their trip at the Palmetto High School Championship.
"I wanted to give them an opportunity to compete on a national level against very good golf teams at Myrtle Beach, and Myrtle Beach is known as the golf capital of the world," Garrett said. "I wanted to give them the chance to compete at a high level. They don't do this for girls, or else I would have like to have taken them as well.”
NAHS returned to defeat district rival Itawamba in two straight tournaments, a feat the team struggled with before the Myrtle Beach trip.
The boys also picked up their third straight district title in April, and boast great experience in their three seniors, Austin Holt, Tucker Holmes and Sam Cooper.
The Bulldogs will be in competition next Monday and Tuesday, May 11-12 at the River Birch Country Club. For team pictures, see page 10.