The Paschal Panthers Varsity Boys golf team will hit the links Tuesday afternoon to play in the Regional tournament for the 28th time in the past 30 years.
The Regional tournament, which began Monday, will conclude on Tuesday at Waterchase Golf Club in Fort Worth. The Panthers placed second in District 4-6A, which qualified them for the tournament. Arlington Martin came in first and will also be playing in the Regional tournament.
“Martin High School beat us in district so they’ll definitely be our biggest rivals there,” said junior Ethan Stokes. “But we’re going to get them this time.”
Stokes said that 16 teams are competing in the Regional tournament. Five players from each team will play and the lowest four scores are counted to the overall team score.
Coach Mark Furtick has been coaching golf at Paschal High School since 2000 and been the head coach since 2007. He guided the Panthers to three straight first place finishes in district before coming in second this year. This doesn’t concern him though.
“The year that we won state in 2006 we finished second at the regional tournament,” said Furtick. “But the team that beat us at the regional tournament we beat in Austin. So we know we can do it again this year.”
Three out of the 16 teams competing will advance to the state championship, but the Panthers have other competitive aspirations than just advancing.
“The goal at Waterchase is to finish in the top three,” said Furtick. “But since Martin finished ahead of us in District, one of our goals will definitely be to beat them.”
Furtick said his team has looked very solid recently after a good week of practice. He believes his squad will shoot below 300 as a team, which averages out to below a 75 from each scoring player.
“One through 16 it’s going to be a stacked field at Waterchase,” said Furtick. “So below 300 for us would be ideal. I’ve seen them do it and I know they can again.”