The Ardrey Kell girls golf came into the 2012 season with championship expectations, again, with a deep and talented lineup in place.
Coach Bart Whitney and Co. proved to be the top team in the state (in class 4A) for the second time in three years (also won 2010 4A title), winning in dominant fashion, by 11 shots over the field at Pinehurst No. 6. The Knights have now finished in the states top three for the last four years, also including a 3rd-place in 2011 and state runner-up in 2009.
Whitney, the Observer girls golf coach of the year (and Mecklenburg coach of the year), also led the Knights to another Southwestern 4A (SW4A) conference title this season, while finishing as 4A Western Regional Runner-up (to Ronald Reagan High).
On the course, the Knights were led by Mecklenburg Player of the Year, Allyson Markiewicz, who was the SW4A champion and finished 6th at the 4A West Regionals and 5th at the state meet. Markiewicz, also ranked No. 4 amongst N.C. junior golfers, is headed to play college golf at Wofford College.
Like Whitney, Salisbury golf coach, Dale Snyder, expects to be a title contender every season.
Snyder, the Observer Regional coach of the year, has now won back-to-back state titles in the last two seasons with both his Hornet boys and girls teams.
The latest championship came this season with the girls, where sophomore, Isabella Rusher, won her second consecutive 1A/2A state individual title as well. Rusher, the Observer girls golfer of the year (and regional player of the year), is also ranked No. 15 in the state on the junior golf circuit.
Rusher will have a chance to be a part of a historic run for both herself and her team next year, as both look for a three-peat performance.
The Cannon School girls golf team also won their second straight NCISAA 3A state title, crushing the field by 26 shots. The Cougars, led by first-year Coach Pat Whisenant, will also look for a three-peat, as all four of their players (three all-state picks in Kate Collom, Anna Redding and Annie Collom) will return in 2013.
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