PILOT MOUNTAIN — The race for the Northwest 1A Conference golf title looks like it will be very interesting this fall.
Coming off a season where they finished among the state’s top teams in the 1A/2A state championships and with the defending individual conference champion (and low scorer in the 1A ranks) back in tow, Mount Airy’s Lady Bears came into this season as heavy favorites to repeat as league champs.
That might still happen, but in a non-conference meet on Tuesday to open the season, their county rivals from down the road said “not so fast.”
Six local teams squared off for nine holes at Pilot Knob Country Club. Joining the Lady Cardinals and Lady Bears were Alleghany, South Stokes, Surry Central and West Stokes. South Stokes is also a conference rival who will be competing for the NW1A title this season after coming down from the 2A ranks.
East Surry came out on top in the meet. The Lady Cardinals had six golfers play the course, and the top three scorers for each team counted. East’s top three had an aggregate score of 142, while the three best of the seven Mount Airy golfers shot 146. South Stokes’ top three out of the six they entered shot 160. Alleghany was the only other school to qualify as a team, with a 177.
Mount Airy’s Alyssa Cox won medalist honors as expected, shooting a 41. Lily Frosh of West Stokes shot 43, followed by Madison Bowman of East Surry (45), and Ellie Kidd of Surry Central (46). Jamie Smith of East Surry (47) was the only other player to break 50.
“I’m really proud of our girls today. We had our best rounds of the year,” said East Surry head coach Chad Freeman. “We know there will be tough competition from Mount Airy and South Stokes in the weeks to come, but it was good to see all of our hard work start to pay some dividends.”
Elizabeth Carson shot 50 to become the other Lady Cardinal with a score that counted. Rounding out the lineup for East were Brooke Hege, Eliza Hart and Emma Hutchens. Bailey Flippen and Mattie Noonkester were the other qualifying players for the Lady Bears, with Kayden Jenkins, Emma Ratcliff, Abbi Jackson and Carley Michael also playing the course.
Savanah Atkins joined Kidd in representing Central. Emily Cox joined Forsh in playing for West Stokes.
Rachel Fenner led South Stokes by shooting 50. Other players on for the Sauras included Mallory Tedder, Ashleigh Washburn, Anna Kate Cheek, Salem Washburn and Jessica Joyce.