Trevor Cone and Tom Farrell have been consistently leading the Jay M. Robinson boys' golf team the last four years.
With their high school careers coming to a close at this week's 3A state championships, the top two Bulldog golfers are leaving a big gap behind.
"It's going to be really tough without them," said Robinson coach Dick Hefner, explaining the entire senior class will be missed. "To replace a Trevor Cone, a Thomas Farrell, an Andrew Geddes and a Bret Fortin is going to be a tough task."
Cone is one of the most decorated young golfers Cabarrus County has seen. The Virginia Tech-bound senior cruised through the season, consistently finishing first at tournaments.
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He won the South Piedmont Conference regular season and tournament individual titles before being the individual medalist at last week's 3A West Regionals.
Hefner describes his star golfer as fearless, going for shots he thinks he can make regardless of what logic dictates.
Cone said his accuracy might be his game's best asset.
"I'm not the longest hitter, but I show a lot of finesse around the greens," said Cone. "I'm a scrambler, I guess you could say."
Farrell described his teammate as "unbelievable."
"He does things that I think there's no way of doing," said Farrell.
Farrell has a more cautious approach on the golf course, focusing on hitting the fairway and greens and not worrying about attacking the flag as much.
"His consistency has been extremely important," said Hefner.
Farrell, who excels with his driving skills, has been a solid No. 2 for Robinson his entire career, being behind Cone by about a stroke since they came to Robinson. He finished second in SPC play the last two seasons and won the conference tournament last year, which he says has been the highlight of his career heading into states.
Hefner said the duo has been able to stand out on the golf course because of their years of practice and experience.
"They both live, breathe and eat golf," said Hefner, explaining that he sees them playing at Cabarrus Country Club whether it's golf season or not.
Cone began playing the sport at age 8, while Farrell picked up his first club when he was 6. Hefner said the dedicated duo has also been lucky to have good parental support and golf instructors along the way.
Through the years, Cone and Farrell have developed their concentration and focus, which Hefner lists as their strengths.
"They're able to recover and let bad shots go to the back of their minds," he said.
With Cone and Farrell leading the Bulldogs, they were able to finish first in each of their regular season matches to win the SPC regular season and conference titles.
"I could've asked no more of them," said Hefner.
Behind Cone's 1-under-par 70 and Farrell's 73, the Bulldogs finished second at last week's regional to earn them a spot at the state championship after not making it as a team last season.
Cone said qualifying together was a big goal of the team.
"It means a lot," he said. "Being senior year we all wanted to go."
"It's been a nice way to finish your senior year," he said.
With four seniors graduating, Robinson will depend on three returning sophomores and a freshman. Starters A.T. Cashwell and Chris Johnson should be key for the Bulldogs next year.
Cone said he's hopeful the younger guys learned enough from him and this year's seniors.
"They're all pretty good, though," he said. "They're going to be a load next year."
Cone will continue to play amateur golf through the summer, getting ready to move to Blacksburg, Va., to begin his Hokie career later in the year.
Farrell says he'll be working most of the summer to save money for college, although he'll find time to spend some time on the golf course. He's attending N.C. State to major in golf management and hopes to also earn his PGA teaching license.
Farrell admits he has mixed emotions about the end of high school golf.
"It's kind of hard to accept," he said. "I haven't absorbed it yet."
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