03/12/08 — ECC 3-A golf -- Easter Wayne leads after first 18-hole tournament

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ECC 3-A golf -- Easter Wayne leads after first 18-hole tournament

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on March 12, 2008 2:59 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- The weather might have seemed ideal for a perfect day of golf, but it didn't merit low scores on the Southern Wayne Country Club links Tuesday afternoon.

Players found the winding course difficult to tame in the season-opening, Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference meet.

Eastern Wayne exited the overall team leader with a four-player total of 324 once the 18-hole round concluded. Nick Barrow and Eric Huetter led the Warriors' charge with identical scores of 78.

"This is not the score we want as a team, but I was pretty happy with how we played, especially at the two and three spots," Eastern Wayne coach Jerry Pelt said. "Barrow was very good, and Eric Huetter came up big for us. That's what you need when some of the guys aren't having their best day."

Pelt felt familiarity factored into the outcome.

"Coming away with a win, on a course that most of our guys have played before is a big step forward in the league," he said. "I don't think any of the teams out here came away with a score that they were happy with, but days like today happen."

Consistent scoring helped the Warriors, though.

"Teams win these meets with their fourth score a lot of the time, and our four scores were all solid," Pelt said. "From the looks of things this is going to be a pretty competitive little league from top to bottom."

Reigning ECC champion Charles B. Aycock ended up second. Returners Austin Forrest and C.P. Cranford each posted a 79. The Golden Falcons carded a four-player total of 329.

Will Bunch led Southern Wayne with an 81.

"Right now I think we're battling nerves, and just learning to play loose and relaxed," said first-year Saints head coach Brad Reaves. "Out of eight guys on the team, we have six freshmen. That's a lot of young guys playing in their first conference meet.

"We will learn from days like today and improve."

Reaves tipped his club to SWCC pro Howard Hunt and the maintenance crew.

"Howard and his guys here do a great job getting the course ready and it was really nice today for the kids," said Reaves. "They had a mess on their hands after that round of storms came through last week, and the course was in great shape this afternoon."

Kinston's Jesse Shimer claimed medalist honors with a 76.

All six ECC teams return to action next Monday at Willow Springs CC in Wilson.