E.A. Sports Today

Plains and simple

Edwards survives challenge from teammate Hurst for second Calhoun County golf title, and Rogers repeats as White Plains boys, girls sweep.

White Plains’ boys and girls won the Calhoun County golf tournament, finishing off their titles during Tuesday’s final round at Pine Hill Country Club. (Photo by Joe Medley)

By Joe Medley
East Alabama Sports Today

PINE HILL — Sawyer Edwards issued a warning about sophomore White Plains teammate Cam Hurst on Tuesday. While Edwards owns the present in Calhoun County high school golf, the senior said, Hurst will own the near future.

“After this year, Cam is going to get’em,” Edwards said. “He’s going to be good, man. There’s no doubt he has every bit of potential to be better than me. He hits it way better than I did back then, and he’s a grinder.”

Cover photo: White Plains’ Sawyer Edwards (right) and Cam Hurst embrace after battling through Tuesday’s final round of the Calhoun County tournament at Pine Hill Country Club. (Photo by Joe Medley)

Edwards went 68-73—141 to edge Hurst by two strokes and win his second county title, and it was just the beginning of the fun for White Plains on Tuesday at Pine Hill Country Club. Isabel Rogers went 73-76—149 to repeat as county champion.

White Plains’ boys won their sixth consecutive county title, shooting 290-294—584 and beating Oxford by 35 strokes. White Plains’ girls won the county title back after Alexandria’s two-year run, going 246-252—498 and winning by 15 strokes.

Top four scorers factor into boy’ team scores and top three for girls. The top 15 in both fields make the All-Calhoun County team, and White Plains accounted for eight of the top 15 girls and seven of the top 15 boys.

It was a dominant performance for a program that’s brought home one boys’ state championship and three girls’ state titles since 2015.

“I look out here, and we’ve got a former player (Nathan Gilbert) coaching at Pleasant Valley,” White Plains coach Chris Randall said. “We probably had 10 former players out here watching.

“It’s just like, the guys that have played before are still involved in the program and keep coming back and kind of putting pressure on the guys to keep the streak going and keep things rolling.:

White Plains’ Cam Hurst chips on No. 18 during Tuesday’s final round of the Calhoun County tournament at Pine Hill Country Club. (Photo by Joe Medley)

Perhaps nothing typified a big day for the Wildcats more than that battle two of them fought to decide the boys’ championship. Hurst entered the day four strokes back of Edwards and shot a 71, his first under-par round in tournament play.

Playing one hole head of Edwards, Hurst birdied 17 to fight to within one shot.

“I shot one over on the front, and I knew I had to do something on the back,” Hurst said. “I started to get some putts to fall.

“I just tried my best grind through the whole round.”

With Edwards playing a group behind him, Hurst teed into the water right of the No. 18 fairway and had to take a drop. His next shot placed him just short of the green, and he saved par.

“It was a stupid decision to hit driver there,” Hurst said. “I didn’t think about the water on the right, but I did what I could.”

White Plains’ Sawyer Edwards chips on No. 18 during Tuesday’s final round of the Calhoun County tournament at Pine Hill Country Club. (Photo by Joe Medley)

Edwards, who birdied 17 behind Hurst to move back to a two-shot lead, saved par on 18 after overshooting the green. He chipped from near the No. 1 tee and two-putted from there.

Hurst called the battle with Edwards “fun the whole time.”

“I tried my hardest,” he said. “He’s a good friend of mine, but I wanted to beat him.”

Edwards’ won his second county title in three years.

“I know ‘Saw’ is 17 years old, but he’s a grizzled old veteran,” Randall said.”He’s got a Calhoun County Golf Tour win under his belt. He won an Iron Man tournament. He won a couple of big junior tournaments this summer. He won the Dixie Open that Stewart Cink won as a kid.

“So Sawyer has a lot of experience. He knew the situation and knew his lead, and he managed the golf course well.”

As for White Plains’ girls regaining county supremacy, Randall lauded volunteer assistant Matt Rogers. Isabel’s father did much of the coaching while Randall was finishing his latest season as White Plains’ boys’ basketball coach and coaches the girls when tournament schedules conflict.

“I’m happy for Rachel and for Isabel to get it their senior year, and for the young girls that are watching, but I can’t tell you how happy I am for Matt.

“Matt is a volunteer, and I can’t tell you how much time and effort he puts into coaching them all.”

Isabel Rogers left little doubt that she would repeat, leading by nine strokes coming into the final round and won by 19.

“It feels really good,” she said. “It feels really good to win it my senior year.”

The question was whether White Plains’s six-stroke lead through one round would hold up. Playing in a stiff wind, all three Wildcats that factored into the team score finished three strokes off of their first-round pace, but they grew their lead to win by 15 strokes.

“I just want them to get everything out of it we can,” Matt Rogers said. “Lately, we have not, and we finally saw the fruits of the labor. That’s the biggest thing.

“I have good time being around them. It’s just I know we can do better than we’ve been doing, Luckily, we played good today.”

Isabel Rogers’ latest victory comes nearly two months after she was named the Alabama Junior Golf Association player of the year for her age group. Her dad called her latest county title the product of playing tournaments year round.

“That’s what I tried to preach to them at the party we had last night,” Matt Rogers said. “Tournament golf is where it’s at. If you want be better, you’ve got to play tournament golf.

“It shows. When she comes out here and plays in this, it’s a lot easier from just playing the heavier competition.”

2024 Calhoun County golf tournament

Team scores:
White Plains 498, Alexandria 513, Piedmont 623, Oxford 636.
All-Calhoun County (top 15)
1. Isabel Rogers (White Plains) 73-76—149
2. Avery Prickett (Alexandria) 87-81—168
3. Jasmine Stokes (Alexandria) 83-85—168
4. Annabelle Page (Oxford) 87-83—170
5. Maylee Stewart (White Plains) 84-87—171
6. Neveah Foster (Alexandria) 82-95—177
7. Rachel Gattis (White Plains) 89-89—178
8. Ali Pressley (White Plains) 92-88—180
9. Madelyn Faulkner (White Plains) 90-93—183
10. Camryn McElroy (White Plains) 93-91—184
11. Mallory Hill (White Plains) 93-92—185
12. Marlee Hedgepeth (Alexandria) 93-96—189
13. Alana Prickett (Alexandria) 92-103—195
14. Reagan Hammack (Jacksonville) 99-97—196
15. Aubree Cobb (White Plains) 108-90—198

The girls’ 2024 All-Calhoun County golf team. (Photo by Joe Medley)

Team scores:
White Plains 584, Oxford 619, Alexandria 650, Piedmont 686, Weaver 760, Jacksonville 796, Pleasant Valley 782, Ohatchee 833.
All-Calhoun County (top 15)
1. Sawyer Edwards (White Plains) 68-73—141
2. Cam Hurst (White Plains) 72-71—143
3. Brayden Cochran (Oxford) 74-75—149
4. Cohen Picton (Oxford) 75-74—149
5. Wyatt Cotney (White Plains) 76-76—152
6. Ethan McCareeth (White Plains) 80-74—154
7. Ryder Hudgins (White Plains) 74-81—155
8. Chip Mraz (White Plains) 75-83—158
9. Ethan Turner (White Plains) 76-82—158
10. Fisher Prichard (Alexandria) 79-80—159
11. Score Bussey (Oxford) 82-80—162
12. Carson Chandler (Donoho) 82-80—162
13. Caden Wood (Piedmont) 77-85—162
14. Cleat Forrest (Alexandria) 88-76—164
15. Braxton Burnham (Alexandria) 82-82—164

The boys’ 2024 All-Calhoun County golf team. (Photo by Joe Medley)

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