Loudon golf in tight race for district

Loudon High School junior Logan Oody practices Thursday in the Redskins’ 187-194-213 loss to McMinn Central and Sweetwater at Toqua Golf Course.

Only one week remains in the 2020 high school golf regular season, and the Loudon High School Redskins boys golf team (8-3) is still in prime position to clinch the Small Schools District 5 championship.

The Redskins took a step back Thursday after falling 187-194-213 to McMinn Central and Sweetwater.

“We had a rough week, and, of course, Cy (Massey) injured his foot and is pretty much done for the year,” David Cherry, LHS head golf coach, said. “James Ross was sick this past week so we did not have him in either of the two matches. The first match was not even a match because Tellico Plains and Harriman both only had two boys. The boys played OK but nothing great. On Thursday against McMinn and Sweetwater, we were hoping we could play real well against them. The boys just did not play real well, even with the loss of the two guys.”

Juniors Logan Oody and Isaac Thompson led the Redskins with a score of 49.

Thompson believes the team was feeling the weight of losing two players.

“We had a good start, but I think we put a lot of pressure with the people that we’ve lost,” Thompson said. “We probably just feel like we’ve put a lot of pressure on ourselves and we have to get those same scores without them. I think the more we put pressure on ourselves, the worse we are and we just don’t play good. We just have to take that pressure off ourselves and just play each and every shot.”

Oody and Thompson have proven two of the top golfers in District 5 this season.

“They’re both very strong players and ever since the preseason when we practicing they were working hard really hard in the offseason,” Cherry said. “For both of them, they have a really good chance of definitely getting to region because if the team doesn’t make it there, they can make it there. I think they have a chance that if they put together a really good round at region that they could even have a chance to even get to go to state. They both have those abilities, but they’ve got to quit putting so much pressure on themselves.”

Thompson worked strenuously during the offseason to improve.

“My swing’s definitely better than it was and putting for sure,” Thompson said. “I’ve worked almost every day this summer and really to make it state is my goal — either this year or senior year. As of today, I’ve gotten it back. I think we’ll ready for the matches this week.”

Cherry hopes to add Ross into the lineup this week when the Redskins take on Tellico Plains and Heritage to cap the regular season.

“We should play better, but as I’ve told the guys, they have the skills and ability to do really well in the district, which is next Monday,” Cherry said. “They’ll be able to do well, and I’m just hoping it’s a near-the-end-of-the-season slump that usually occurs just before the postseason. When it comes to golf, the regular season doesn’t really matter when it comes to the district. You just have to win it at the district championship.”

The Redskins will compete for the district title Monday at Chatata Valley Golf Course.

“Our expectations are definitely to be first in district, no matter who we have,” Thompson said. “If we don’t have them, so what because we’ll still have our players and be No. 1 in district if we don’t put that much pressure on ourselves and have fun playing the game.”