Sizzling Simpson + other steady Ads = state champs

MANCHESTER — What better way to end your high school golf career: shoot 13-under-par for 36 holes — with just one bogey — during the pressure-packed situation of also attempting to lead your team to a Division I Large state tourney title?

For Farragut High School senior Lance Johnson, “It’s the best I’ve even seen Lance play, and I’ve seen Lance play well a lot,” said FHS head coach Jon Higgins, as Johnson — tourney medalist — indeed led the Admirals to the Large state title (583, 7-over par), beating runner-up Ravenwood by 12 strokes at WillowBrook Golf Club Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 6-7. “He was very focused and dialed in all week.”

A team victory

But it also took the consistency of Johnson’s teammates to claim the crown — with four other Admirals having at least one stellar round: freshman Brady Harville’s 2-over-par Tuesday, with even par efforts from senior Connor Price and freshman Owen Queener during the final 18 holes.

Bouncing back from rough opening rounds, Price and Queener “were the first two out (Wednesday) and they really set the tone for us,” Higgins said. “They played extremely well all day.

“Shooting 72 for them was especially good after bouncing back from Tuesday,” he added.

Senior Aaron Rinehart was the most consistent of the four, firing a 5-over Tuesday before shooting 3-over Wednesday.

“He’s been very good all year,” Higgins said of Rinehart. “He’s been one of our top two golfers all year.”

Helping lead the Admirals to the state championship was especially sweet for Rinehart according to his coach.

“He had a tough (state) tournament last year,” Higgins said. “To see him come back and play that well this year is very good.”

Though Harville struggled during Wednesday’s final 18 holes, “Brady played extremely well for us on Tuesday,” the coach said.

Moreover, “We wouldn’t have been in the position we were in going into Wednesday if wasn’t for Brady,” he added, as the top four individual scores for the boys are recorded as that day’s team score during each 18-hole round.

As a team, “They were playing really well going into (WillowBrook),” Higgins said. “Being around them for the last few weeks they were really focused and they were really getting dialed in.”