CHATTANOOGA-Thanks to a big finish here in the Region tournament last fall at The Bear Trace Harrison Bay golf course, Clay County High School golfer Savanna Strode became the first ever from CCHS to compete in the Tennessee State Golf Championships, and, along the way, helped her team make history by winning the District 8A-AA Tournament.
Strode, along with Madison Baijo, were medalists in the girls team conference win at Ironwood Golf Course in Cookeville, TN after they finished with the third and fourth highest individual scores in the event. Their efforts advanced the girls team into the Region 4A-AA tournament–a place Strode and Baijo returned to for the second straight year.
There the team finished third overall falling just shy of a team State Championship appearance, but Strode’s play allowed her to finish fourth overall as an individual sending her to the State Tournament in Manchester, TN at Willow Brook Golf Course.
At the individual championships, Strode scored her all-time best on the second day of the event and finished fifth overall among Single A players and 23rd out of 75 total competitors spanning two classes.
“This is a major accomplishment for Savannah and the entire team, because they compete against both A and AA teams,” her coach said.
Strode was later presented with a proclamation honoring her accomplishments from the State House of Representatives signed by Speaker of the House Beth Harwell, State Rep. Kelly Keisling, and State Senator Mae Beavers.
Besides the girls success, the boys team also had a standout player. Despite a tough district tournament, Derek Hix won a spot in the regional tournament in a sudden death playoff against Clarkrange. He continued to the regional competition to complete scoring one of his best scores ever.
A sign commemorating the team’s conference championship can be seen in the school’s gymnasium and the team’s members included:
• Andrew Boles, son of Johnny and Theresa Boles;
• Josh Jenkins, son of Lex Jenkins and Christy Copas;
• Andrew Meadows, on of Jody and Pamela Meadows;
• Ben Upton, son of Todd and Kim Upton;
• Jordan Vaughn, son of Stephanie Vaughn; and
• Derek Hix, son of Chris and Regina Hix.
• Rayne Norris, daughter of Tammy Norris and the late Ross Norris, and the granddaughter of Ray Boles;
• Alayshia Brannon, daughter of Melissa and Greg Brannon;
• Madison Baijo, daughter of Pat and Tonya Baijo; and
• Savanna Strode, daughter of Chastity and Donnie Strode.
The golf team is coached by Amy Dodson, Betty Jo White, and Doug Strong.