LAURINBURG — Scotland High School’s golf team has a high goal for next season. They want to knock Pinecrest off of the top spot that they have held for so long.
“We’re catching up and I think we can give them a run for their money,” junior Blake Bathie said.
But the Scots have a more immediate goal in front of them — reaching the state finals. Scotland has not been that far since 1998. To get there they will have to finish in the top three at the East Regional on Monday.
The regional is being held at the Gates Four Golf and Country Club in Fayetteville. The Scots qualified by finishing in the top three in the Southeastern Conference. Pinecrest, as usual, claimed the top spot, while Scotland finished in second and Richmond captured third. The SEC schools will be competing with three other conferences — The Mid South, Mideastern and Eastern Carolina conferences — on Monday.
Last year Scotland finished in seventh place in the regional, which was held at Pinehurst No. 6. The golfers will be hoping for better weather this year, as that day was marked by heavy rain. The top four scorers from each team count towards the total in high school golf.
Scotland also had two golfers named to the All-Conference squad in Bathie and sophomore Harrison Hartwell.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about Scotland’s team is the fact that there is not a single senior on the roster. In fact, there are only two upperclassmen. Coach Donald Barringer said the team’s youth gives it a lot of potential for this season and beyond.
The only golfer who will definitely not be returning next year is Richie Martinez, who is a foreign exchange student from Spain. He will return home after this school year.
All of the players gave credit to Barringer for helping them improve as athletes.
“Our coach is awesome. He keeps us on time,” Will Floyd said.