By Angel Verdejo
Killeen Daily Herald
Moving down to Class 3A meant a chance for every sport at Lampasas to shine.
The boys golf team is doing just that.
After one day at the Region IV-3A tournament at Corpus Christi's Lozano Golf Center, the Badgers are tied atop the leaderboard and sit one round away from a trip the state tournament. In addition, senior Slayton Lindeman is the first-round leader for the individual championship.
"We actually didn't play too well as a team," Lampasas head boys coach Kyle Black said. "Slayton carried us with the 72. The other guys kind of left some shots out there."
Lampasas posted a first-round score of 321, tying the Badgers with Fredericksburg. Both are six strokes ahead of third-place Corpus Christi West Oso (327).
"It's great to be where we are," Black said. "We definitely didn't expect it."
Salado is tied with Pleasanton for seventh, with both posting a 338, four shots behind both Gonzales and Wharton.
"Hopefully we can move up," Salado head coach Bobby Peschel said. "You're playing in 30-35 mph wind at times. ... The better you can play the wind, the better you can score."
Lindeman sat at 3 under par at one point before getting a double bogey. He finished strong, however, getting a birdie on his next-to-last hole and working out of a hazard to save par on the final hole.
"He played great, start to finish," Black said. "He played like he can and like he should."
Behind Lindeman, the Badgers' next four golfers posted scores in the 80s. Byler Lindeman shot an 81, followed by Sterling Wright (82), Colton Perkins (86) and Logan Irvin (89).
Salado's Dane Hankamer is in second with a 73, followed by Cole Brentham (87), Kase Spears (89), Kyle Heiner (89) and Koby Spears (89). Kody Parette shot a 93 as an individual medalist for the Eagles.
The top two teams and top two individuals not from a qualifying team advance to the 3A state tournament May 12-13 at Austin's Roy Kizer Golf Course.
Lady Badgers second after Day 1
It was a backward day for Lampasas.
The Lady Badgers' No. 5 golfer posted the team's best individual score, while the No. 1 golfer was five shots away from a triple-digit score.
"We totally reversed roles today," Lampasas girls coach Stuart Beckwith said. "We had a couple of kids who didn't play well and I had a couple of kids play extremely well."
But either way, Lampasas sits in second place at the Region IV-3A tournament at Corpus Christi's Oso Beach Golf Course. The Lady Badgers combined to shoot a 340, three strokes behind first-round leader Yoakum.
Salado, the 2010 2A champion in its first year in 3A, is fourth with a 354.
Brittney Graham led the Lady Badgers, posting an 80 and setting a new personal best by two shots.
"Great time to do it," Beckwith said. "I think she figured some things today. I think she figured out that she can play and she can play with the rest of them."
Morgan Rogers followed Graham with an 84, Lauren Davis shot an 86, while Lampasas' top two golfers - Carmen Gonzales and Juls Crook - shot a 95 and 90, respectively.
Salado's Taylor O'Rear, the 25-3A champ, shot an 85 to lead the Lady Eagles. She's followed by Catherine Crouch (87), Meredith Ward (90) Hailee Pipes (92) and Leah Ray (100).
"We did fairly well, but I don't think we've played our best golf yet," Peschel said. "We're going to have to play well (today) just to move up. We're going to have to play really well - we're capable of it."
Lampasas and Salado will be in the final pairings today with Fredericksburg and Yoakum.
"I think it's going to be a great tournament (today)," Beckwith said. "There's a lot of good golfers here and we're excited about our opportunity."
Gatesville in second at Region III tourney
It was a tough day on the course, but the Gatesville girls are in position to reach the state tournament after qualifying for the regional tournament eight years in a row.
The Hornets are second after the Region III-3A's first round at Conroe's The Village Golf Club. The 19-3A champions shot a 416, putting them five shots behind Lufkin Hudson and three shots ahead of district rival China Spring.
"It's a tough course," Gatesville head coach Guy Dean said. "There weren't many that broke 100. It was a little windy, but the course is pretty tough."
Amber Colson led the Hornets with a 95. Kristen Smithhart shot a 105, followed by Katy Colson (107), Heather Raico (109) and Brandi Cowart (112). Lufkin Hudson's Kari Rosser is in first place with an 82.
"You have to feel pretty good just being in this position," Dean said. "When you play a two-day tournament, the main thing you want to be is in that final pairing. Even as challenging as it was - it was hard on everybody - the girls are in second place and playing for one of those spots to go to Austin."
Dean added most of the Hornets' scores improved from the front nine holes to the back nine.
"They have a real positive to build upon going into (today)," Dean said. "I think nerves have settled down a little bit so hopefully this is something they can continue."