Cannon School boys’ golf team is poised to compete for a state title
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Tuesday, May. 06, 2014

Cannon School boys’ golf team is poised to compete for a state title

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LEIGH WINTHROP - CANNON SCHOOL
The Cannon School boys’ golf team expects to win a state championship this year: from left, Michael Baker, Tim Bunten, Noah Edmonson, David Gordon, Stanton McKay, Max Krumdieck, Christian Wilson, Will Gordon, Anthony Perrino Jr., Davis Kiger and coach Pat Whisenant.
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Last year’s fourth-place finish at the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A state championship was such a disappointment for the Cannon School boys’ golf team that its goal for 2014 has never been anything short of winning the state title.

The Cougars find themselves in a nice position entering next week’s championship: They are No. 1 in the most recent state rankings headed to Greensboro’s Bryan Park on May 12-13.

“We’ll win the state championship this year,” said head coach Pat Whisenant. “I’ll be surprised if we don’t.”

Cannon’s top four players all are NCAA Division I-caliber recruits, and all are juniors.

The top two players are both from Davidson. Will Gordon has verbally committed to Vanderbilt, while Noah Edmondson is an Arkansas recruit.

Anthony Perrino Jr. of Mooresville committed to Georgetown, and Davis Kiger, who played at Hickory Ridge High until this year, has strong interest from Western Carolina and Mercer.

Gordon leads the Cougars with a nine-hole stroke average of 34.7. Through his play in junior tournaments, Gordon is ranked 21st in the country by Golfweek magazine.

Edmondson was the individual medalist at last year’s state championship, also at Bryan Park. He shot a two-round total of 141, five shots better than the second-place finishers, Providence Day’s Christian Cichan and Charlotte Latin’s Jake McGlone.

As a team, Cannon recorded a 623, a fourth-place finish and 17 shots behind winner Forsyth Country Day.

Individually, Gordon placed ninth and made all-state with Edmondson. Perrino finished 16th.

The Cougars were in the hunt through the first 18 holes, ending the first day five shots behind first-place Christ School. Cannon’s second-round score was 14 shots worse than the day’s best, held by Forsyth Country Day.

“We were pretty bummed last year,” said Edmondson. “We were in good shape after the first day. We struggled on the second day but had a couple guys have good scores. It made us want it even more.”

Edmondson said he and Gordon have a friendly rivalry that makes the team better. “I think we’re both playing really good golf,” said Edmondson. “We have a little competition between us. We want to beat each other. But we’ve been playing really well.

“We play at the same club (River Run Country Club in Davidson) and have played together in high school. We’ve know each other for five, six years.”

Cannon School saw one of its top four golfers graduate last year but added Kiger, a South Piedmont 3A Conference Player of the Year at Hickory Ridge. His match scores regularly are third- or fourth-best for Cannon School.

“Golf was a part of the decision (to transfer),” said Kiger. “I wanted to surround myself with the best players in the state.

“But it was also the education. I wanted to better myself for the future.”

Kiger and Perrino started the season slowly, each shooting 85s in an opening match win against Westchester Country Day at River Run. Each consistently has shot in the mid-70s for 18 holes since.

Cannon was undefeated in its four Charlotte Independent Schools Athletic Association matches and has won eight of its nine matches overall. Its only second-place finish was at the prestigious N.C. High School Golf Invitational on April 14 at Durham’s Treyburn Country Club.

Among Cannon’s significant tournament wins was the Carmel High School Challenge on March 24 at Carmel Country Club. The Cougars finished ahead of Forsyth Country Day, Christ School and all CISAA teams.

A week later, Cannon recorded a gutsy win against Concord High in which Gordon and Edmondson were missing because of other commitments. Perrino was the individual medalist, with a nine-hole score of 35. Michael Baker had Cannon’s second-best score (40) and Tim Bunten was third (41).

Joe Habina is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Joe? Email him at joehabina@yahoo.com.

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