05/01/09 — E. Wayne clinches regional bid

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E. Wayne clinches regional bid

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on May 1, 2009 1:46 PM

WILSON -- Southern Wayne saved its best round for last and Eastern Wayne clinched a regional berth during the season-ending Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference golf championships at Wedgewood Golf Club on Thursday afternoon.

The Warriors carded a four-player total of 334 and advanced to Monday's eastern regionals at Maccripine Country Club near Pinetops. Two-time defending ECC champion Hunt and county rival Beddingfield, which shot a 351 at Wedgewood, comprise the three team entrants.

"Our guys have battled all season and it's nice to see it pay off for the team," said Warriors head coach Scott Waller. "We have a chance to go up there, play loose and see what happens. I am really happy for my guys to get that opportunity."

Ryan Lake paced the Warriors' effort on Thursday with a season-low round of 73. Matt Baker added an 83, Caleb Jones fired an 88 and Carson Daly finished with a 90.

"I really just tried to go out there and have fun today," said Lake. "I didn't put pressure on myself. I kept the ball in the fairway and made some nice shots into greens."

Lake earned all-ECC accolades. Also receiving all-conference honors were Hunt's Paul Howell, who repeated as the ECC Player of the Year; Matthew Ellis (Beddingfield), Jesse Shimer (Kinston), Michael Gardner (Beddingfield), Matthew Sullivan (Hunt), C.P. Cranford (Aycock), Robert Byrd (Hunt), Tyler Johnson (Hunt) and Cole Kratzer (Kinston).

The Saints did not have an all-ECC selection, but Chris Best earned a spot in the regional as an individual. Best carded an 81, while teammate Will Bunch contributed a team-low 80. John Graham and Rob Herring posted 18-hole scores of 84 and 86, respectively.

"This group is a group that battles," said Saints head coach Jeremy Joyner, whose team received the ECC Sportsmanship Award. "We struggled a little bit early in the season, but the guys came back after spring break and have really come together."

Southern Wayne ended up fifth in regular-season play.

Cranford fired a 78 and earned a regional spot for the Golden Falcons. Teammates Steven Heron (89), Chase Parnell (94) and Ian McClanahan (105) rounded out Aycock's final team event of the season.

Kinston's J.T. Trabula was named ECC coach of the year.