Westbrook boys win Class 3A state golf title

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By Chris McCarthy/Editor

At least with the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s first and second-place state plaques, blue is a much preferable color than red.

After two straight years as the state runner-up in golf, the Westbrook Christian boys golf team finally earned a championship trophy earlier this week in Mobile.

Although no Warrior placed in the individual top 4, The Warriors shot a combined 602 (13-over par) score to win the Class 3A state golf tournament at Magnolia Grove.

Defending state champion Bayside Academy was second at 616, followed by West Morgan at 626 and Indian Spring at 655.

John Hilliard Catanzaro paced Westbrook with a three-over par 148 score, shooting 73 on Monday and 75 on Tuesday. 

Harrison Martin shot a 1-above par 150 for seventh place, followed by Matthew Williams in a tie for eighth (151), Parker Brown in ninth (154) and William Wethington in 11th (155).

Glencoe’s Jack Sims finished second overall at 144 with his second consecutive even-par 72. 

Working with a 10-stroke lead over Bayside after Day 1 (310 to 311), the Warriors held off the Admirals on Day 2 with a 301-305 edge.

“Bayside beat us by a huge margin last year, so our boys new that it would be hard to get above [Bayside],” said Westbrook coach Misti Fairchild. “In fact, our boys came into the tournament believing that at least three of them would have to shoot under par and have the other two [players have a three or four above par. But I had an eighth grader [William Wethington] who was low medalist in both the sectionals at substates, so he was going to be an added plus. As it worked out, Bayside was not as strong as they were last year. We had five strong players, and that’s what it took for us to win.”

Since they were not pleased with their Monday performance, the Warriors as a team hit the links for some late-evening practice rounds following dinner.

“They were thinking that whatever went wrong on Day 1 was not going to happen on Day 2,” said Fairchild. “I had to call one of their daddies and find out where they were. But they were ready to do whatever it took. The Lord honored that commitment and let them succeed with what they had.” 

Fairchild singled out special praise for Williams, Catanzaro and Wethington. 

“Matthew is a great kid and hard worker who doesn’t necessarily have the same athletic ability as some of the other guys, but he makes up for it in his work ethic. John Hillard expects a lot out of himself, not only on the golf course but also in the classroom. He’s just a driven young man who pushes himself to the limit. And as far as William goes, that’s an impressive performance for a young man of 14. 

“We’re going to miss (seniors) Matthew and Parker Brown, but thankfully our top three players will be back next year. We’re looking for  J.P. Pirani (who qualified for the sectional and substate rounds) to slide into one of those open spots.

“The only downfall to the situation is that my girls didn’t take the tile. Our boys and girls teams practice and play matches together all year long, so it was kind of mixed emotions [on Tuesday].”

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