The first round of the District 11-5A boys golf tournament tees off today at Twin Lakes Golf Course in Canton.
Robert E. Lee is aiming for its seventh consecutive district championship and enters with confidence having won four of its five tournaments this spring. The only non-victory occurred in an event cancelled after the first round because of rain.
“We are favored to win it, at least that is what the other coaches are saying,” Lee coach John Taylor said. “The kids have been playing well. They’ve been practicing hard and we just have to show up and see what we can do.”
Last year was the first time since 2005 a Robert E. Lee golfer was not individual champion. That honor went to Mesquite Horn’s Garrett Fey, who returns and is the favorite to repeat.
Lee senior Austin King, who tied for second place last year two strokes behind Fey, enters as his biggest threat. King is a Lee golf team veteran, helping the Red Raiders reach state two years ago.
“Austin and Luke (Fauss) want a piece of that (individual title) and I think they will give Fey a good run,” Taylor said. “Also Longview’s Connor Barbe is a good, solid player. I think those four are going to battle it out.”
Also on REL’s A team are Will Curtis, Will Pollard and Ben Shoup. Taylor said Shoup gained his spot by defeating Ben Harrison recently in a playoff. Harrison leads the Lee B team, along with Kylar Gee, Cody Wisdom, Philip White and Zach Sampson.
Taylor’s dream scenario would be to win district with the Lee B team also qualifying, but understands the Red Raiders will face stiff competition from Longview, which denied REL a 1-2 finish last year.
“We’ve got to have someone match Barbe from Longview,” Taylor said. “Longview has a (solid) team, but if they are off, we might have a chance to (sneak into second), but Barbe is not off very often.”
The second and final round is Wednesday at Twin Lakes. The top two teams qualify for the Class 5A Region II tournament next week at Twin Rivers Golf Course in Waco. Also earning a regional berth are the top two individual scores not on the first and second-place teams.
Robert E. Lee tennis aims to be busy next week at the regional tournament, but for that to happen, REL needs to show its usual dominance at the district tournament.
The District 11-5A spring tournament is today and Wednesday at Tyler Tennis and Swim. The top two finishers in boys singles and doubles, girls singles and doubles and mixed doubles qualify for the Class 5A Region II tournament April 17-18 at Waco Regional Tennis Center.
The matches begin at 9 a.m. with any playbacks and finals slated to be played at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
“If things work out we have a good chance to go first and second in girls singles and may have two boys doubles teams go again,” said Lee coach Jessica Taylor.
Leading the way for REL is Kylie Reynaud, who has continued her strong play from the fall season. She is seeded first overall in girls singles with teammate Casey Hadsall, the second seed. Also receiving a top seed for Lee is the boys doubles duo of Henry Schmoker and Rahil Doctor.
Receiving a third seed in boys doubles is Mason Berry and Robby Hill.
Lee’s girls doubles team of Morgan Hadsall and Haley Belt will also aim to punch a ticked to regionals, along with the mixed doubles team of Catherine Butschi and Preston White.
Butschi has split time between tennis and golf, and Taylor hopes the senior being solely focused on tennis will net her and White a regional berth.
“I think we will win the girls and possibly the mixed doubles,” Taylor said. “I think the boys will be harder. I think it will be a toss-up between us and Longview.”
Robert E. Lee achieved a crucial win Friday to keep the Red Raiders in the district-title hunt. Lee now goes on the road to face DeSoto at 7 p.m. today in another key league matchup.
The Red Raiders (13-9, 4-1 in District 11-5A) are currently in the three-way tie for first place in the district, along with North Mesquite and Mesquite. Lee played both last week, losing to North Mesquite before bouncing back to defeat Mesquite 3-2.
DeSoto (6-14, 0-5) is at the bottom of the district standings and coming off an 8-2 loss Friday to North Mesquite.
Lee won the first meeting 8-2 between the two teams at Mike Carter Field, helped by REL scoring five runs with two outs in the fourth inning.
Robert E. Lee aims to put two wins together for the first time this season as REL entertains North Mesquite at 6:45 p.m. today at Faulkner Park.
The Lady Raiders defeated DeSoto 3-0 on Friday with senior Matti Aycock allowing just one hit in a complete-game effort. Aycock also had two hits with Schuyler Wages tripling for Lee (4-14, 2-5 in District 11-5A). Prior to that, Lee was beaten 10-0 by Mesquite Horn and 9-1 to Mesquite. Most of the runs given up by Lee pitcher Makenna Aycock were unearned in the loss to Mesquite as she also finished with 11 strikeouts.
North Mesquite (9-11, 3-4) is tied for third place in the league standings after a 5-1 loss to Mesquite.