By Jason Chlapek
Killeen Daily Herald
SALADO ? If there's one thing the Salado golf program is familiar with it's winning.
Under coach Bobby Peschel, both the boys and girls teams have gone 6-for-6 in winning the District 25-2A championship. Both Salado teams also have become accustomed to being regulars at the Class 2A state tournament. The boys won it all last year with the girls taking home sixth.
Today, the Eagles and Lady Eagles start competition in the Region IV-2A tournament at Quail Creek Golf Club in San Marcos. The tournament concludes on Tuesday with the top two teams and top six individuals qualifying for the state tournament next month in Austin.
"With the success we've had over the last few years, we have the biggest target on our backs," Peschel said. "It's a good feeling to know that everyone's out to get you. Both of our teams feel really good, and we feel pretty confident that if we play to our capabilities, we can take care of business and get back to Austin."
According to Peschel, both Salado teams will get competition from the teams at Boling, Comfort and Schulenburg. Comfort is back in Region IV after a two-year hiatus in Region I.
Peschel also said that because of geography, the Eagles and Lady Eagles haven't seen too many of the teams whom they will face over the next two days. Salado is one of the northernmost communities in Region IV-2A.
Both Salado teams are just four days removed from clinching their sixth consecutive 25-2A championships, which they did Thursday at the Lago Vista Golf Club. The 25-2A tournament had a rare alignment as there were eight days in between tournament play with the first round taking place on April 8 at Mill Creek Golf Club in Salado.
Speaking of Mill Creek, Peschel believes the club is synonymous with the success of his program.
"Mill Creek turned Salado into a golf community, which also allowed for the high school to produce golf talent," Peschel said. "Salado is in a good location as well. It's on IH-35 and it's close enough to Austin, but far enough away from the traffic."
As far as the boys team is concerned, the Eagles returned everyone from last year's state champion, including Baylor-signee Ryan O'Rear. O'Rear, who also won the individual state championship a year ago, claimed the individual 25-2A crown on Thursday, finishing with a two-day score of 149.
Teammates Jared Hahn and Craig Little finished second and third, respectively, with Hahn shooting 155 and Little 161. Tom Baine and Tyler Pines make up the rest of the senior-only Salado team, and freshman Colby Spears qualified as an individual medalist.
Not to be undone by their male counterparts, the Lady Eagles also finished 1-2-3 in the individual portion of the 25-2A tournament with Taylor O'Rear claiming first with a score of 164, Rachel Van Hoozer took home second by shooting 179, and Hadley Joiner claimed third with a score of 195. Brennan Boydstun and Taylor Reed round out the girls team and freshman Leah Ray also qualified as an individual medalist.
While the boys team is made up of seniors, Reed is the only senior on the girls team as her four teammates are either juniors or sophomores.
Contact Jason Chlapek at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7565.
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