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Atascocita Eagles excel in golf, too

June 17, 2018

Don’t forget about golf.

Atascocita’s recent team success, extending into football, basketball and baseball - and culminating with the softball club securing the school’s first state championship this month - is well-documented.

But high school golf is a team sport, too - and they’re also representing.

The Eagles boys golf team, which made the state tournament for the first time last year, returned to state this year, firing a two-day team total of 607 at the Legacy Hills Golf Club in Georgetown.

“Like any sport in high school, it’s so difficult to get to the state tournament,” coach Scott Bryant said.

Ransom Jacobson, Theo Marules, Cam Latto, Andrew Bohli and Brennan Deslatte carded a 626 last year at state, leaving them in 10th place. Jacobson, Marules and Latto, with newcomers Eric Breeding and Andrew Lovejoy, were 19 strokes better in their return, but they still finished in 11th place.

“That’s the thing about golf - you can shoot your personal best and still get beat,” Bryant said.

Still, just like the other athletic programs at Atascocita, they continue to push the bar higher for the program.

They placed second in district and third in the region each of the last two years.

The Eagles clinched their first state berth last year by going lower than everybody on the second day of the tourney.

“We played a really good round on Day 2 … and the team that was ahead of us fell apart, and we got in by one shot,” Bryant said.

Jacobson led the way the last four years.

The Houston Baptist signee boasted the team’s lowest scoring average all four years, he won an individual district championship last year, and he secured a title at the fall preview in November.

He also carded a school-record low round of 64 in October in Austin at the first tournament of the season.

“He’s got the skills to shoot the low numbers,” Bryant said.

But after missing three tournaments to rest a back injury, and then faltering on the second day of the district tourney soon after returning, he still needed his teammates help to return to Georgetown.

Lovejoy delivered at regionals, firing a personal-best 76-76—152.

“It’s an individual sport, but you still have to come together, because if you want to get to state you’re going to need your teammates,” Bryant said.

With Jacobson and Marules graduating, Latto, Breeding and Lovejoy will try to keep their state streak intact.

And all three beat their scoring averages this year at state.

The top candidates to join them in the top five are incoming senior Cameron Clancy and incoming junior Colson Vozza.

“We’ve got our work cut out because Memorial and Stratford are moving into our region,” Bryant said.

“That’s going to make it harder, but the bar always gets raised higher (at Atascocita).”

Pinkston shines on national stage

Kingwood graduate Jake Pinkston recently claimed a national championship.

The sophomore at Colorado School of Mines won the pole vault title by clearing 5.28 meters, which tied his program record, at the NCAA Division II Track & Field Championships in Charlotte, N.C.

He’s only the program’s seventh national champion - and first in a field event.

Pinkston’s performance helped the Oredigger men vault into the top 10 in the final team standings, too.

He entered the pole vault competition ranked No. 2 in the nation.

His top competition going in was No. 4 Connor McLean, and both men passed the opening height, but then McLean exited at 4.98 meters, leaving Pinkston as the only ranked pole vaulter. He cleared 5.08 on his third attempt at it, 5.18 on his second, and then 5.28 on his second for the victory.

Pinkston is Mines’ first individual national champ since Mack McLain won the indoor mile seven years ago.

Crosby, K-Park come up short

Crosby and Kingwood Park played in the nearby 7-on-7 state qualifying tournament Friday in New Caney.

Unfortunately, neither team found what it was looking for - a trip to College Station.

The Cougars made it to the qualifying round, formerly known as the semifinals (they didn’t play a championship game), by rallying from a 34-26 setback with New Caney Porter in their pool play opener, beating Montgomery 49-13 and Cypress Falls 32-31 to set up a showdown with Heights.

But it was all Bulldogs from there.

They jumped out to a 31-0 advantage in the first half en route to a berth in the Division I 7-on-7 state tournament, which is set for June 29-30 at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex in College Station.

Kingwood Park won its first pool play game, 26-25 over Beaumont West Brook, but dropped the next two to Cy Ranch (25-6) and Magnolia (38-6).

New Caney secured the other state bid with a qualifying win over Magnolia.

Jason McDaniel is a freelance writer who can be reached at jasonrmcdaniel@outlook.com.