North Augusta, Fox Creek square off at River Club

The North Augusta and Fox Creek High School golf programs are foils of one another.

The Jackets have tradition and prestige on their side. The Predators are a program that's still trying to get its feet under it.The two teams squared off last Monday at The River Club, a match that saw the Jackets simply overwhelm the Predators.C

olby Bradley shot a match-low 41 for the Jackets. Christian Manley followed him with a 42, and Chase Marzullo shot a 43. Travis Redd shot a 44 and Brant Gillespie and Jake Blackmon each shot a 48.

The Predators were led by Blase Macine, who shot a 49. Matt Harley and Evan Steedley both shot 57 and Wil Fagan shot a 61.

The scores, especially North Augusta's, were great, considering the 40-plus mph winds.

"Those were some of the worst conditions we've had all year," North Augusta head coach Louis Mackie said. "Everyone out there was dealing with the conditions and considering that he (Bradley) shot a 41, I thought that was pretty noteworthy."

Fox Creek head coach Josh Trahan found that the course, despite the rain and conditions, was still in very good shape."The rain actually softened up the greens a bit," he said. "The wind gusts were not helpful. We were just excited to have the opportunity to play at the River Club, and we give a big thanks to those guys and to Coach Mackie. We're trying to begin a golf program here, and we look forward to getting together with them again next year."

Mackie, who is in his first year as the head coach, wanted to make sure his team squared off with Fox Creek, and especially get a win in a convincing fashion.

"Golf is a little different with it being a gentleman's sport," he said. "A lot of my guys are familiar with their guys. Anytime you are familiar with your opponent, it amps up the competition. Playing Fox Creek, with them being right around the corner, was a priority of mine. Getting to know Coach Trahan - he's a great guy, and it's one of those things where you have nothing to lose playing those guys and my guys look forward to playing them."

Mackie has inherited a young team that is in a bit of a transition following the graduation of Matt NeSmith, who now plays golf for the University of South Carolina. However, things have gone smoothly. Mackie attributes this to his group "working hard, competing and being 'yes sir, no sir' type of guys.

"The team has five freshmen, but the success has shown on the course with the team being 7-1 on the year.When asked about what each of his athletes brings to the table, Mackie can easily rattle off attributes that a number of his players provide.

"Christian (Manley) is probably my most consistent guy and the only senior. We can count on him to shoot a low score each round," he said. "Chase Marzullo is probably our most dynamic player. He can get any shot out there and has the most shots in his bag. Ben Adams is a guy who has come a long way and has probably improved the most from his first-year tryout. Colby Bradley is a great long hitter. ... He's just a freshman, and I have a lot of high hopes for him."Jay Newman is another freshman, and he's what I call an 'overgrown freshman.' He's 6-foot-1 or 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, and he has the most potential out of anyone. He has a lot of the physical tools to play this game. Banks Williams is probably our undersized freshman, and he may not hit it 300 yards, but it will be in the middle of the fairway every time. All of my guys have a passion for the game, and I always tell them that if you have a passion for the game, you're A-OK."