D-B takes team title in Big 8 boys golf

George Thwaites • Aug 23, 2011 at 3:48 AM

KINGSPORT — Dobyns-Bennett’s golf team collected its first tournament championship of 2011 Monday. The Indians have high hopes that it won’t be their last. Three D-B golfers shot par or better as they posted a 289 to win the Boys Big 8 Conference golf tournament at Warriors Path Golf Course. “We’ve been in a couple of tournaments and come in second a couple of times. We just needed one or two guys to step up and be more consistent and we got that today,” said Indians golf coach T. J. Ross, whose squad had previously been runners up in 18-hole events at Jonesville (Va.) and McMinn C o u n t y. Blake Blizzard and James Beckner both finished 1-under par at 71. Ken Miller shot even. “We’re going to be pretty good, I think. If we shoot like we did today we could go pretty far,” said Beckner, a freshman. The veteran Blizzard’s internal rangefinder tells him exactly how far he’d like that to be. “We’d like to win it all. We have a really good team and they all work super-hard. They all try their best and I think we have a good shot (at the state),” Blizzard said. Miller, a fellow senior, agrees. “This is the best team we’ve had since I’ve been at D-B. I’m glad it’s coming senior year,” said Miller, who played relaxed golf Monday, trusting that his teammates had his back. “I just kept a clear mind. I knew that all my other teammates were going to be playing really well.” Drew Doran rounded out the Indians scorecard with a 75. Taylor Hines (77) and Neil Delwadia (82) had their scores culled Monday. At any given point this season, they might be leading the charge. “At any given time, any of our six are capable of shooting par or under. It’s nice to know that you’re going to get four good scores out of the six,” said Ross, who immediately phoned news of the Big 8 victory to former Indians golf coach Eddie Durham, who stepped down to focus on his health. Science Hill’s Zach Botts collected medalist honors with a 70, dramatically wrapping it up at the end when he holed out from the fairway on a 70-yard chip for eagle. The Hilltoppers were runners-up in the team standings with 296. Stephen Wang contributed a 74 while Evan Crigger and Drew Poland both shot 76. “That’s the closest and lowest we’ve been at this point. Our goal is always to get in under 300 and we did that,” said Science Hill coach Kevin Vannoy. “We were under our goal, but it wasn’t enough to take it home.” A youth-laden Sullivan South squad finished third on the familiar fairways of Warriors Path with 308. Cayman Ratliff shot even par to lead the Rebels with Ross Miller and Drake Crawford both carding 77. Thomas Harrison shot 82 to round out the score. “There at the turn (Miller) was like five over and he came in with even par on the back and I guess that set the tone,” said South coach Anthony Richardson. “This is where these kids play all the time so I maybe expected a little bit better. But we battled and I’m proud of them.”Erica Yoon — eyoon@timesnews.net Science Hill’s Zach Botts was the medalist at Monday’s Big 8 Conference tournament after a 2-under 70.

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