Last season’s boys golf conference race went down to the wire. Green Hope and Athens Drive entered the conference tournament tied, but the Falcons prevailed to keep their title streak alive at 11.
Green Hope could make it 12 given the talent it returns.
Reigning conference player of the year James Mishoe (36.0 strokes per nine regular-season holes), a junior, returns along with all-conference teammates senior Mike Siek (38.5) and sophomore Kevin Wiles (38.5).
Athens Drive brings back its top player from last year, sophomore Eric Bae (37.7), as well as senior Kevin Campbell (37.8).
Holly Springs, which finished third in the league, brings back five of its top six players led by senior Tim Conover, who was runner-up to Mishoe for player of the year honors and missed qualifying for the 4A state tournament on a playoff hole.
Also back for the Golden Hawks is senior Jacob Smith, who finished first in one regular-season match, as well as seniors Nick Toma, Wes Harvard and sophomore R.J. Reyes.
Cary was fourth in last year’s conference and brings back senior Michael Erhlickman, who also won a regular-season match.
Middle Creek’s Carter Thompson also returns as a regional qualifier from last year.
Fuquay-Varina and Panther Creek finished tied for last.
Although the Southwest Wake Athletic Conference has been home to some of the top golf teams in recent years, none of them qualified for the state championships last year. Only Apex’s Zach Smith did, as an individual, and he has graduated.
Blake: 919-460-2606; Twitter: @JMBpreps