By SCOTT TYLER

H-P Sports Editor



The Palestine golf team will begin its quest of defending its state title Monday when the Wildcats start the District 21-3A golf tournament.

“Our ultimate goal is to defend our state championship but we have to do it one step at a time,” Palestine golf coach Tommy Allison said. “And district is that first step.”

The District 21-3A golf tournament will be held at Westwood Shores in Trinity. The first round will be Monday and the second round will be a week later on April 9.

Palestine is the clear favorite to win the district title. The Wildcats, who have won four straight district titles, won last year’s district golf tournament by 77 strokes.

“I want to see our scores continue to improve,” Allison said. “We have been playing really well this year and we have won our last two tournaments.”

The excitement for Palestine at the district tournament may come with the Wildcats’ “B” team, which will try to qualify for regionals for the second straight year.

“We have the opportunity if both teams play well to get both teams to regionals,” Allison said. “If the “B” team plays to their potential, they have a great chance.”

Last year, the Palestine “B” team took second place with a 651, beating out third-place Crockett by 26 strokes.

For Palestine’s top team, the Wildcats have four golfers returning from last year’s state championship team.

Palestine’s Joseph Totah returns for his fourth year on the Palestine varsity team. Even though Totah got a late start to the season, he has won two tournaments this year.

Totah won the district golf tournament last year with a two-round total of 137.

Jacob Taylor also has a pair of tournament wins this season and has finished in the top 10 in every tournament he has played in.

“Jacob continues to improve from last year and he keeps getting better,” Allison said.

The other two returners for Palestine are Steve Herrington and Jeremy Lambright.

“Steve has played very steady golf for us,” Allison said. “And Jeremy has come on really strong lately, which is what he did for us last year.”

The fifth golfer for Palestine’s “A” team either will be Chris Lee or Cameron Bunt, who have both played as medalists during tournaments this season.

The move to put Lee or Bunt on the Palestine “A” team is so Allison can keep his “B” team intact and hope they have a better shot at making regionals.

The Palestine “B” team will include Nicholas Varela and Austin Anderson, who have both played with the “A” team at different times this year, Kyle Woodard, J.C. Johnson, who finished in the top 10 last year in district, and Taylor Carnes.

Allison said Westwood Shores should be a good test for Palestine as the team starts its run in hopes of getting back to the state tournament.

“It is a course with lots of out of bounds and lots of hazards,” Allison said. “It is a course where you have to manage your game.

“It is a good course for us to play because it is not too difficult but somewhat challenging.”

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Scott Tyler may be contacted via e-mail at styler@palestineherald.com

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