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Girls High School Golf

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Cannon School hungry for 4th girls’ golf state title

By Jay Edwards
Correspondent
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- Beth Collum
(Left to right) Taylor Marks, Anna Redding and Annie Collom will back to try to lead Cannon School to a 4th straight NCISAA state girls golf title

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    Observer-area Girls Golfers to Watch

    Annie Collom, Cannon, Sr.: University of Richmond commit is reigning NCISAA state individual champion.

    Anna Redding, Cannon, Sr.: University of Virginia commit was CISAA conference champion, finished 4th at states.

    Megan Cullip, Ardrey Kell, Sr.: A strong one-two punch with junior Alexis Whitney atop the two-time defending 4A state champion Knights’ lineup.

    Samantha Vodry, Lake Norman, So.: Co-North Piedmont conference player of the year also finished 3rd at 4A West Regional, tied for 9th at states as a freshman, teams with classmate, Kathryn Carson, for a strong one-two in Wildcats’ lineup.

    Moon Cheong, Charlotte Latin, So.: Ardrey Kell transfer now joins strong Latin lineup after finishing as 4A state runner-up, 4A West Regional runner-up for state champion Knights as a freshman.

    Emily Herron, Charlotte Latin, Sr.: All-state performer tied for CISAA conference runner-up, 7th at states with Cheong makes Latin a state contender.

    Renee Janis, Hough, Sr.: The MECKA 4A, Hough’s No. 2 scorer (averaged 42 per nine holes) also finished 9th at 4A West Regional and is back to lead Huskies.

    Keri Kenkel, Charlotte Catholic, So.: Cougars’ standout was No. 4 in the SoMeck8 conference in scoring last season (41), now looks for more as a sophomore.

    Sarah Godel, Providence, So.: Like Kenkel, Providence No. 1 as a freshman was impressive as No. 5 scorer in SoMeck8 conference (42.7).

    Jaime Cassell, Cox Mill, Jr.: South Piedmont conference champion and team MVP also shot a school-record 35 (nine) last season and will be looking for even bigger results as a junior.



For the past three seasons, the Cannon School girls’ golf team has won N.C. Independent Schools state championships.

While they lost two of the five players who’ve been huge in the championship run – all-state performer Kate Collom (now playing at Samford University) and Taylor Bunten – Cannon coach Pat Whisnant is confident his team can make a run at a fourth straight state championship.

The Cannon girls have dominated their competition at the state meet (as a team) the last three years, winning by 25 strokes last year, 26 strokes in 2012, and 22 strokes in 2011.

Whisnant, who has coached at Cannon for three years and has 38 years’ experience as a PGA Professional, said, “It’s unbelievable how well we have played at states every year, in those two days when we needed it most. One of the biggest reasons is that most of these girls play year-round in tournaments all over the United States. It’s so important to have experience in pressure situations and to be confident you can play well under pressure and we’ve don’t that consistently.”

Two all-state players return in Annie Collom and Anna Redding. Collom, 17, who recently committed to the University of Richmond, won the NCISAA individual championship last season. In June, she won the junior division of N.C. Women’s Amateur at Pinehurst in June.

Redding, 17, has committed to Virginia. She was Charlotte Independent Schools conference champion last season and finished fourth at the state tournament. Ranked the No. 6 junior player in the state, according to the Tarheel Youth Golf Association (TYGA), Redding qualified for her first USGA championship event in Flagstaff, Ariz., this summer.

Redding will also be inspired to play well this summer because of her senior project at Cannon known at the “Cannon Capstone.”

For Redding, her project dubbed “Birdies for Babies,” means every time she birdies a hole, money has been pledged to be donated to the Tenwek Hospital in Kenya.

“We would all love to finish this (Cannon careers) with another state championship,” said Collom. “We’ve had so much fun together and this (4th state title) would give us another chance to say we’ve done something even more special.”

Redding agrees.

“We know we (Redding/Collom) have to step it up and be leaders for this team,” Redding said. “We feel like we have a great shot at winning another (state) championship and we are going to do everything we can to get another one.”

Fall Sports Previews Continue

The Observer’s annual fall sports previews are this week. Girls tennis was Wednesday (available at charlotteobserver.com/preps); cross-country and volleyball are Friday; soccer is Saturday; and football is Sunday.

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