Broughton won the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A championship in 2012 with a predominately underclass lineup. The Caps return five starters, including state 4A individual champion Stephen Saleeby.
The Caps held off Southern Pines Pinecrest, 582-585, for the team title while Saleeby, a freshman who played fifth in the Broughton lineup for much of the year, claimed the individual title with rounds of 67-73 140. He had won the regional tournament the week before.
The team surprised me, said Broughton coach Anderson Marlowe. I knew we had excellent players, but I thought it might take them a year to become accustomed to playing high school golf.
But these guys have played so much tournament golf that they were way ahead of where I thought theyd be.
Saleeby said he didnt know how the Caps would stack up before the season a year ago, but he knew they had six very good players.
I was surprised that I won, but I wasnt surprised that we won, he said.
Harrison Rhoades (144) finished fourth in the championships and Court Settle, George Kilgore and Will Minton all recorded top 25 finishes. All five will be back this season.
But Saleeby said he and the team dont feel any more pressure this season as favorites than last year when the club was unproven.
The only pressure I feel is the pressure I put on myself to play well, Saleeby said.
Other teams to watch
Leesville Road: The Prides Carter Jenkins is the top-ranked junior player in the state, but missed most of the 2012 high school season with a broken bone in his hand.
The UNC-Greensboro recruit is expected to lead a club that might be able to contend with the Caps in the Cap Eight and in regional and states.
The big key is surviving the regionals, said new Leesville coach Andrew Wilkinson. Our regional is loaded. Before you can play in the state, you have to get out of the regional.
Senior Zach Seabolt is ranked among the top five juniors in the state and Jake Hutchinson is in the top 50.
We think we have some other good golfers, but they are going to have to come through for us.
Green Hope: The Falcons finished 28 strokes behind Broughton and finished sixth. Mike Siek led Green Hope (149) at No. 14.
Ravenscroft: The Ravens are usually among the best in the NCISAA and coach Jimmy Cox has five returning starters, including all-conference picks Thomas Sigmon, Zachary Chapman and John Sanders.
Players to watch
Ben Griffin, East Chapel Hill, Jr.: Griffin won the state 4A individual title as a freshman and was 10th (148) in 2012.
Eric Bae, Athens Drive, Fr.: Jaguar coach Steve Ostroff expects Bae to challenge for the Tri-Nine 4A conference championship.
Neville Burton, Wake Forest-Rolesville, Jr.: Finished No. 12 in the NCHSAA 4A championships.