South Charlotte

Providence Day's game is up to par this year

When the Providence Day golf team started its season, the Chargers didn't know what to expect under new coach Dean Preston.

By the end of the year, the Chargers had proven they were the state's best, winning the NCISAA 3A state title by 16 shots to claim the championship for the first time since 2001.

Preston led the way in his first year as a high school coach.

"We really started to come together towards the end of the year at the conference and state tournaments," said Preston, a 1998 Providence Day graduate. "We definitely peaked at the right time."

Myers Park also peaked at the right time, winning the 4A West Regional at Pine Island Country Club and finishing just four shots short of a 4A state title. The Mustangs also won the Southwestern 4A conference title.

Coach of the year: Dean Preston, Providence Day. From 1995 to 1998, Preston played on the Chargers golf team. Thirteen years later, Preston, who also starred at Lenoir-Rhyne and played on several mini-professional tours in Florida, returned to coach his alma mater.

Preston led the Providence Day team to its first state title since 2001 and won the CISAA conference title - also by 16 shots - against Charlotte Country Day.

With sophomores Davis Bateman and Christian Cichan among the team leaders and the best players in the state, the Chargers return plenty of talent.

Player of the year: Philip Oweida, Myers Park. Going into the 4A West Regional golf tournament, Oweida had never broken 70.

In the next three rounds, Oweida did it twice, first winning the 4A West regional title with a career-best 67, followed by a 69-73 (142 two-day total) to finish tied for fourth at the 4A state tournament at Pinehurst No. 6.

Oweida barely lost the SW4A title to his teammate, Andy Simmons, when he bogeyed the final hole to lose by one stroke.

Oweida, a sophomore, now has two more years to add to his resume, with Simmons, also a sophomore, there to challenge him at every step.