All three players return from last year’s girls’ team and the boys return four of the eight members of the 2013 team.
The Cherokee Country Club served as the home course for the Bulldogs this year and Kelley expressed his appreciation to Steve Baker for his help.
For the girls, Hannah McCurdy will be a senior in the fall, Kinsy Martin a sophomore and Madison Spivey a freshman.
“They’ve worked hard to regenerate the girls’ golf program. I’m really, really excited about next year.
They’ve got some tournaments and some camps that they’re going to this summer and hopefully that will pay off and we can turn this thing around a little bit,” Kelley said of this year’s girls.
He noted that two beginning golfers have expressed interest in playing with the returning girls next year.
“It’s been a three or four-year process to regenerate it. Hannah has been a major contributor to that because she’s gotten to the point this year where she qualified for sectional and missed going to sub-state by six or seven strokes. … I know Hannah’s goal is to make it to sub-state next year and with a little work she can do that,” Kelley said.
The boys’ team lost seniors Tanner Dixon, Haden Downey, Josh Martin and Hunter Pike. Returning from last year’s travel squad are Dalton Bedwell, Will Bedwell, Trevor McCarley and Cross Wilson. Dalton Bedwell will be a junior. McCarley and Wilson will be sophomores and Will Bedwell will be a freshman.
“Those are the four guys that we’re really looking to carry the load next year,” Kelley said of the younger group.
Pike had the most success in the recently completed season, qualifying for the state tournament as an individual. In the high school team format of ‘play five and count the top four scores’, Dalton Bedwell, Dixon, Downey, Pike and Wilson composed the group that qualified as a team for sub-state and McCarley almost qualified as an individual.
“Trevor missed sub-state by one stroke,” Kelley said. “They had to have a one-hole playoff so we almost qualified six in the sub-state.”
Pike and Downey were interchangeable at the top of Piedmont’s lineup.
“Haden’s a very accomplished golfer. He’s got all the shots and everything about his game. He’s a smart golfer. … He was only like four strokes off going to state along with Hunter,” Kelley said.
Dixon went from being among the top five to being consistently the No. 3 player for the Bulldogs.
“Tanner came on and shot some real good scores in some key matches down the stretch there, especially in the sectionals over at Twin Bridges. I thought Tanner had a great day over there and basically pushed us to the point where we qualified as a team to go to sub-state,” said Kelley.
Kelley described Martin as a “very competitive” golfer who improved his game to play in the top five in some later matches.
“From where he started to where he ended up as a senior, he’ll be able to play golf for the rest of his life as a recreational golfer,” Kelley said of Martin.
Kelley anticipates the girls will attend a camp in Cedartown, Ga., during the summer while the boys will be in Montgomery for a camp organized jointly by Faulkner University and Huntingdon College. Several local courses will also be part of a junior tour of tournaments on seven Mondays over the summer.
“Mainly, the junior tour is where I’m going to push for those four guys to play because it will be great competition,” Kelley said.