Playing alongside familiar opponents, the Lake Norman Charter golf team one-upped its second-place finishes from the last two years to become 2A state champions.
Ian Johnson led the Knights to their first team state championship in program history, carding a 7-over, 151, to finish in a tie for third at Longleaf Golf and Family Club in Southern Pines May 14. Carter Busse shot a 77 and 76 in the two rounds respectively and finished in a tie for seventh overall. Jace Arko also played well for Lake Norman Charter, powering his way to a 3-over second round and 11-over two-day total.
The players faced windy conditions the first day, but LNC coach Eric Johnson said it played to his team’s advantage.
“It separated us from a lot of other teams,” Johnson, Ian’s father, said. “I think it actually helped us. It was (still) fairly windy the second day, blowing a completely different direction. The good players overcome it. Other players, they suffer from it.”
All five Knights landed in the top half of the 83-man field, as freshman Ben Bailey shot 16-over to finish tied for 20th and classmate Will Dalton was 23-over in 32nd place.
Three of the teams that finished in the top four were from the South Fork 2A, with West Lincoln finishing third and East Lincoln fourth. Midway, last year’s 2A champion, was second, 31 strokes behind LNC.
“Our guys use the season to prepare for regionals and states,” coach Johnson said. “They enjoyed the fact that our conference for high school golf was extremely competitive. They were rooting for each other. The final day, we got to play with West Lincoln, so there was a lot of comfort there.
And players from Midway, in the eastern part of the state, were in the middle of the South Fork golf celebration.
“Poor Midway, since there were all these people rooting for one another,” Johnson said. “It was fun to watch.”
Busse, a sophomore, won the Farmers Insurance Sportsmanship Award for the second straight season.
LNC was part of the Mecklenburg County sweep of the four classifications’ state championships: Community School of Davidson (1A), Charlotte Catholic (3A) and Myers Park (4A) also took home trophies.
“That’s pretty dominating for the state,” Johnson said.
Cannon School, Moyer top NCISAA
Cornelius resident T.J. Moyer led Cannon School to the NCISAA 4A state championship May 14 at Grandover Resort in Greensboro.
Moyer, a sophomore, shot an even-par 144 over two days to become the individual champion as well. Cannon won with 598 total strokes, 11 better than Asheville’s Christ School.