Polk County’s boys golf team celebrated a stellar season with its end-of-season banquet on May 28 in the Donald Ross Room at Tryon Country Club.
Players and families munched on barbeque, beans and macaroni and cheese along with cookies as they looked back at the past season as well as the four-year careers of seniors Nick Wilson and Blake Rackley.
Both players were relied on to contribute as freshmen, when the team had just one returning player, and they helped the team place fourth in the Western Highlands Conference. As sophomores, the team took third in the WHC and qualified for the 2A Western Regional.
The Wolverines placed second in the conference during Wilson and Rackley’s junior year, sending one player to the state tournament, then qualified two players for the state 1A tournament this season.
Rackley then received the Happy Gilmore Award, that recognition given by head coach Pat McCool for “trying to hit that shot a lot of times the last four years when he was outside the coach’s view, and sometimes when the coach was in view.”
Hunter Lynch and Carson Emory, the team’s state qualifiers, were both given the Most Valuable Player Award.
In his third season in the program, Lynch had a great year. He earned All-WHC recognition, finishing sixth in the conference tourney, and qualified for the 1A Western Regional for the second straight year, In the regional event, he also finished sixth at Mountain Harbour Golf Club and qualified as an individual for state. Lynch finished tied for 38th in the 1A state tournament at Pinehurst No. 6.
Emory also had a great year, driven in part by losing a playoff last season to advance to the Western Regional. He was the medalist at Mount Mitchell in a pre-conference match, then earned All-WHC honors and finished just four shots off the lead at the confernece tourney. Emory placed fourth in the regional and 50th in the state tournament.
The team also took time to thank their families and the golf courses on which they were allowed to play, especially Tryon Country Club and Meadowbrook Golf Course and their staffs.