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Chopticon golf wins second county title in as many years

By JAMES A. McCRAY III

Staff writer

It was fitting that the Chopticon Braves golf team made a trip to McDonald’s late Wednesday afternoon for a post-tournament meal.

That meal doubled as a victory dinner after the Braves turned in a super-sized performance only moments before by securing its second-straight St. Mary’s County golf tournament title with a team score of 310.

Leonardtown, playing on its home course of Breton Bay Golf and Country Club in Leonardtown, earned second with a 339 and Great Mills finished third with a 376 in the battle of the three public high schools.

Leonardtown senior Cody Jameson won the individual county championship with his 2-under-par 70.

The Big Mac of the Braves team on Wednesday was senior Nick Jerome who led the Braves with a 2-over-par 74 followed by the large fry in Kyle Wright who scored a 77.

Add in the large soda in the form of Will Cusic (79) and the dessert was taken care of by Brett Burroughs (80) and the Chopticon value meal of a championship was complete.

Jerome, the individual county champion last season and the second-place finisher this season, used birdies on holes No. 3 and 9 to cancel out two bogies shot on the front nine and bogeyed two holes on the back nine for his Chopticon-leading score.

“It’s great,” Jerome said of the championship. “I knew that we could do it. We have been practicing hard. … I am so proud of my team to win it again. We’re young, so hopefully they can win it again next year.”

On the individual county title, Jerome added, “I played great today, too, but Cody just played better. Every shot I hit was where I wanted it to be. I had a couple of unlucky breaks that hurt me through the last holes coming in.”

For Wright, his performance that included two birdies and a bogey on the back nine was that of redemption for the junior.

“Flawless,” Wright said of his round. “I hit it today and just stroked it. I didn’t hit any bad shots and it felt great. I got here early, started hitting balls and I was hitting them decent on the driving range. I don’t know how to describe it, but it just felt good.”

Wright placed third overall individually.

“It feels great, especially, because I have let them down in the past,” Wright admitted. “It feels like I have redeemed myself. … Hopefully Will [a junior] and I can go out there next year and [perform] just as good.”

After qualifying for the Maryland state tournament as a team and now winning the county title, Braves golfers admit confidence is soaring.

“I feel like we have a chance to win SMAC, but we’re going to have to play really good to beat Northern,” Jerome said. “I feel that we can do it.”

For Jameson, a birdie attempt, which he eventually made, on the par-3 15th hole helped put his round into perspective.

Amid construction on trees around the 15th green and with a blaring chainsaw less than 50 feet away, Jameson sank his birdie putt to help continue a round he called possibly the lowest he has ever had in a tournament.

“It was pretty crazy,” Jameson said of the chainsaw. “Stuff like that doesn’t bother me usually. I just stayed in and studied my putt and luckily I made it.”

According to Jameson, a different method of preparation may have also played a role in his championship-winning round.

“I didn’t play as much and just kind of took a break,” he said. “I came out a couple of days before, practiced and chipped and putted and hit a few balls. I came out and tried not to be so nervous and uptight and it worked out.”

Bruce Jackson led the Great Mills Hornets with his 90 on the day.

“It was a tough day, a tough day,” Hornets head coach Chris Davies said. “We have a lot of young guys, two freshmen out here today, a junior, a couple of sophomores and our seniors have had a tough year, with a lot of pressure. But, I am proud of them, they have worked hard, they came through and they have a bright future.”

jmccray@somdnews.com