FC golf finishes seventh in state

by Sean Dunlap

BILOXI — Franklin County High School’s golf program claimed a seventh-place finish overall in the 2023 Mississippi High School Activities Association’s Class 3A state championship tournament played at Sunkist Country Club on Monday, May 1 and Tuesday, May 2.

This marked the second year in a row for Bulldogs’ golfers to advance to state-level competition with the team finishing eighth in the 2022 title tilt.

“After day one, we were in the hunt and only one stroke out of the public schools’ lead,” FCHS Head Golf Coach Jeff Long said.

“I was proud of that effort as the boys played hard and actually had a chance of finishing in the top three.”

Kolby Cox and Tim Hutto both finished the initial round of play with low individual scores of 81 each.

Preston Cupit recorded an 87 while Jack Hutto and Kyle Walker accounted for an 89 each and Parker Cupit collected a 96.

When the dust had settled on May 1, the Bulldogs were in fifth place overall with a team score of 338 behind fourth-place Amory, which had a 337.

The top three slots on the first day were held by three private schools, which are part of the MHSAA — Saint Patrick was in first with a 326; Saint Andrews was second with a 333; and Saint Stanislaus was third with a 336.

“On the second day, we didn’t play well and lost a lot of ground to schools we probably should have beaten,” Long added.

Cox had a team-best 81 as Walker tallied an 89 and Preston Cupit and Jack Hutto claimed a 90 each.

Tim Hutto finished the second day with a 91 and Parker Cupit added a 112.

The May 2 finale saw Franklin County end up with a 687 team total — two strokes behind sixth-place Kossuth, which wound up with a 685.

Final totals placed Saint Patrick as the 3A state champion with a 651 while Saint Stanislaus was second with a 656.

Amory moved up and claimed third place with a 657, Saint Andrews was fourth with a 667 and Booneville took fifth with a 670.

Water Valley finished in eighth place with a 727 and Alcorn Central was ninth with an 850.

Individually, Cox had Franklin County’s best overall showing with a 162 — a finale that was good enough for ninth place among those taking part in the event.

“In the end, we have a lot to be proud of in the last two seasons,” Long went on to say. “Finishing seventh in Class 3A is quite an achievement and has been a great experience for these guys.”

Long said Franklin County returns its entire team for the 2024 season and hopes the lessons learned by his players will provide the motivation to want to return to vie again for a state crown.