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RHS golfers take on section tournament, eye state

The Russellville High School boys’ and girls’ golf teams are heading into section tournament play with sights set on advancing to the next round.

The boys have fared well so far this year, and they are looking for big things after finishing second in the state last season. This is an experienced group, with sophomore Eric Boutwell taking the course with seniors Jaceton Murray, Brayden Bendall, Carson Reeves and Lucas McNutt.

“I feel like we’ve been playing really well, and I feel like we’re prepared for this time of the year,” said Russellville head coach Patrick Odom. “The scary part is, now you get to the important part – where you’ve got to go perform on these specific days.

“When you look at the scores that we’ve been putting up, we feel good about what we’ve done,” Odom added. “We’ve just got to continue to build and improve and do it at the right time – and that’s this time of the year.”

Odom said Boutwell has had a great year and has taken his game to the next level, scoring under par about 80-85 percent of the time. Boutwell, Murray and Bendall form a consistent trio that can be counted on to play well, and Odom said he feels Reeves and McNutt have bettered their games, as well.

“Those guys have improved,” Odom said. “Honestly, our fourth score is going to be the critical score for us because we feel like we know where our top three guys are going to be, and that fourth score is going to be important. Our guys know that and have gotten better.”

Class 5A, Section 4 play will take place at Gunters Landing Golf Course in Guntersville. Teams scheduled to participate include Russellville, Arab, Ardmore, Brewer, Douglas, East Limestone, Guntersville, Hamilton, Hayden, Lawrence County, Madison County, Scottsboro and West Point.

Odom was recently named as a member of the boys’ coaching staff for the North squad during the All-Star Sports Week to be held in Montgomery this July.

The RHS girls’ team will be on the course at Point Mallard in Decatur April 30 for Class 4A-5A, Section 4 play.

A large number of schools will be involved along with Russellville, including Ardmore, Brewer, Brooks, Central-Florence, Curry, Danville, Deshler, East Limestone, Elkmont, Fairview, Good Hope, Haleyville, Hamilton, Jasper, Lawrence County, Madison Academy, Madison County, Priceville, Randolph, Rogers, West Limestone, West Morgan, West Point and Wilson.

The Russellville girls’ team is made up of two seniors, Josie Willis and Morgan Moon, and two sophomores, Ashlyn De Arman and Alayna Fish.

The quartet is coached by Monica and Chris Moon, with Monica taking care of things from a paperwork, scheduling and school aspect, and Chris working on technique. The coaches said they are excited to see how the team performs in the section tournament.

“They’ve grown all year,” Chris said. “We’ve battled weather issues most of the time. A lot of our events have either gotten postponed, rained on or even cut short.

“Josie and Morgan have been with the team since the seventh grade, and we have two sophomores that have stepped up to play on the varsity to complete our four.”