There is a little less pressure on the Broughton High boys’ golf team this year.
Caps coach Marlowe Anderson said the four senior golfers who have led Broughton to N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A titles in two of the past three seasons should be able to relax, compete and enjoy playing golf at a high level.
Harrison Rhoades, Preyer Fountain, Stephen Saleeby and Wes Minton helped the Caps to the championship when they were freshmen. Saleeby won the individual title.
“There was a lot of pressure the next year,” Anderson said. “They were sophomores who had won the championship as freshman. There were great expectations.”
The Caps struggled in the first round of the 36-hole championship in 2013, but played better the second day to finish fourth, seven strokes behind winning Southern Pines Pinecrest.
“There was pressure last year, too,” Anderson said. “They wanted another title. They wanted to show they still could play at the highest level.”
Broughton posted a 592 to top runner-up Pinecrest by eight shots in the 2014 championship. Fountain and Saleeby tied for fourth and Minton was eighth.
“This year they are seniors,” Anderson said. “They know what it takes to win. I think this is a season where they can really enjoy playing together. We are expecting a great year.”
Not that there won’t be competition. Anderson said there are several outstanding teams in the state. And the Caps are extremely competitive with each other.
“We haven’t had an established No. 1 on our team for the past three years,” Anderson said. “All four of these guys would like to be No. 1 each week. They really compete with each other. Each of them wants to play extremely well.”
Saleeby has been the most consistent in the NCHSAA championships. He won the individual title in 2012 and has been top five the last two years. He has signed with UNC Wilmington.
Fountain has signed with North Carolina and Rhodes has signed with Georgetown. Minton still is making his college choice.
All four are ranked among the top 35 junior golfers in North Carolina. Fountain leads the group at No. 15 followed by Rhoades, No. 17; Minton, No. 26; and Saleeby, No. 33.
Teams to watch
Corinth Holders: Junior Nick Routhier and senior Kellen LaBonte return to the Two Rivers 3A Conference champs.
Green Hope: The Falcons were sixth in the 4A championship in 2014. Senior Brian Chen was T-15th in the state championships. Juniors Kevin Wiles and Timmy Leonard also are back.
Millbrook: The Wildcats were runner-up in the Cap Eight and Mideastern regionals and were fifth in the 4A state championship. They return four starters. N.C. State recruit Stephen Franken, who lost in the 4A finals in a playoff; Erskine College recruit Bryce Hailey; four-year letterman Adam Gross and three-year letterman Mitch McPherson return to the starting lineup.
Panther Creek: The Catamounts won the Southwest Wake 4A Conference tournament and return sophomore Viraj Garewal, who was seventh in the state tournament. Also back are juniors Alex Scott and Miguel Palacios and senior Luke McGann.
St. David’s: Warriors were runnerup in NCISAA 2A title, led by junior Preston Ball (T-4th).
Other players to watch
Led Trojans to Greater Neuse crown.
4th in NCISAA 3A.
4A individual qualifier
Two Rivers champ.
Duke recruit was third in 4A
Big 8 player of the year.
PAC-6 player of the year.