High School Sports

Cannon golf takes Observer’s top player, coach honors

From 2011 to 2013, the Cannon girls’ golf team has dominated the rest of the state on the golf course, going unbeaten in that span while winning back-to-back-to-back NCISAA state championship by 22, 26 and 25 shots, respectively.

This year was different as the Cougars, who lost two of their top four players from the first three championships in Kate Collom and Taylor Bunten, had the task of trying to four-peat with a less dominant lineup.

While they went through some ups and downs this season, when it mattered most the Cannon School girls were up to the task again, claiming their fourth straight NCISAA state championship by four shots over runner-up Forsyth Country Day.

Cannon golf coach Pat Whisnant, the Charlotte Observer girls’ golf coach of the year, led the Cougars to their first 36-hole state title as the first three came on only 18-hole competitions.

“This (state championship) was very satisfying, especially after not winning the (CISAA) conference (championship),” Whisnant said. “I didn’t exactly know what to expect at states. But we were focused and our girls were determined to win it all, again, and they did it.”

Cannon senior Anna Redding led the way for her team also claiming the NCISAA individual state championship with a two-day total of 3-under par 139.

Redding, the Observer girls’ golf player of the year, shot a personal-best 30 on the front nine of her final round 69.

Redding, who averaged an Observer-area best 35.3 per nine this season, is a University of Virginia commit and is No. 6 in the state junior rankings, according to the Tarheel Youth Golf Association.

Redding also appeared in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd,” in November for her performance and her contribution to the “Birdies for Babies,” where her 63 birdies this season helped her raise more than $20,000 for Tenwek Hospital in Kenya.

South Pointe (S.C.) also won the S.C. AAA state championship by 18 shots, becoming the first York County girls’ team to win a state title.

The Marvin Ridge girls’ golf team, the 3A West Regional champion, finished as 3A state runner-up to Cardinal Gibbons.

Ardrey Kell, who had won the last two 4A state titles, finished third at the state meet (4A).

First Team All Observer

Anna Redding, Cannon School, Sr.: University of Virginia commit averaged an Observer-best 35.3 per nine, and won CISAA conference and NCISAA state individual titles while leading her team to a fourth straight state team championship.

Alexis Whitney, Ardrey Kell, Jr.: SoMeck8 Conference player of the year had a 37.0 average, tied for 4A West Regional runner-up and tied for 8th at states, also a straight A student.

Megan Cullip, Ardrey Kell, Sr.: All SoMeck8 Conference performer finished 7th at 4A West Regional, tied for 12th at states, averaged 36 per nine this season.

Samantha Vodry, Mooresville, So..: North Piedmont Conference runner-up also impressed with a tied for 4th at 4A West Regional and 5th-place finish at states, averaged 36 per nine.

Kathryn Carson, Lake Norman, So.: Wildcats’ standout tied for 4A West Regional runner-up, and tied for 6th at the state meet.

Morgan Laird, Marvin Ridge, Sr.: 3A Midwest Regional runner-up, also tied for 6th at states, had a 37.8 average in the regular season while helping her team to 3A runner-up finish.

Jaelyn Tindal, South Pointe (S.C.), Sr.: Mercer University commit, five-time all-region performer led Stallions to a AAA state championship finishing tied for 4th individually, No. 1 junior player in S.C.

Jodee Tindal, South Pointe (S.C.), So.: Jaelyn’s younger was a major factor for Stallions as well finishing 3rd individually at AAA state meet.

Roshnee Sharma, Providence Day, Jr.: Charger came up just one spot short of a conference and state individual title with runner-up finishes to Redding in both events.

Moon Cheong, Charlotte Latin, So.: Hawks’ standout sophomore finished 3rd at both the CISAA conference and state meets.

Annie Collom, Cannon School, Sr.: University of Richmond commit, four-time all-state performer finished 6th at states, 5th at CISAA conference championships, won NCISAA individual title as a junior.

Second Team All-Observer

Keri Kenkel, Charlotte Catholic, So.

Ahra Ko, Marvin Ridge, Fr.

Emily Anderson, Porter Ridge, So.

Emily Herron, Charlotte Latin, So.

Parker Melting, Independence, Fr.

Renee Janis, Hough, Sr.

Sarah Godel, Providence, So.

Jaime Cassell, Cox Mill, Jr.

Danielle Mirovich, Mount Pleasant, So.

Austin Palmer, Charlotte Catholic, Sr.

Observer Girls’ Golfer of the Year: Anna Redding, Cannon School

Observer Girls’ Golf Coach of the Year: Pat Whisnant, Cannon School