Chilton County golfers qualify for sub-state

Published 10:47 am Tuesday, April 26, 2022

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By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer

Four Chilton County golfers made it to the sub-state round of the AHSAA state playoffs on April 25. Aiden Cleckler and Ella Young from Chilton County High School, Danielle Gilliland from Isabella High School and Evan Harrison from Maplesville High School all qualified for the tournament in Mobile on May 3.

Cleckler shot an 81 in the Class 6A Section 2 group and was forced into a three-person sudden death playoff. Cleckler managed a bogey in the playoff to be one of the two golfers to advance to Mobile from the playoff. Cleckler was the fourth individual qualifier from the Class 6 Section 2 group.

“I could not be prouder of him, Aiden has come a long way,” CCHS coach Paul Dubose said. “He really improved his game, and to be rewarded by going to the sub-state as a sophomore is huge.”

There was a 10-minute warm up period for the three golfers before the playoff, and Cleckler had been sitting for over an hour waiting for the field to finish. The sophomore shot in the 100s last year at sectionals and showed great resolve and improvement to advance this season.

As a team, the CCHS boys squad did not play as well as they would have liked. The yearly goal of shooting a 320 as a team was still the goal, but the Tigers could not break through that number.

Young also made the sub-state round for CCHS, shooting an 89 and capturing the second individual qualifier spot in the girls Class 6A Section 2 group. Young was four strokes away from the Sub-State round last year.

The freshman is only the second girl golfer for CCHS to reach the sub-state round, and by far the youngest.

“She loves the game of golf and works really hard at it,” Dubose said. “She’s very coachable and has improved so much over the last two years she has been playing.”

Gilliland, who is the lone senior of the Mustangs golf team, got Isabella into the sub-state shooting a 130 and capturing the fourth individual qualifier spot in the Class 1A/3A Section 2 for the girls. Gilliland has been the number one golfer for the Mustangs all season and was able to continue her stellar year into the next round.

Harrison posted a score of 81 and finished sixth overall in the Class 1A-2A boys group. Harrison was the third lowest individual scorer as well.

Catherine Stone from CCHS was one stroke away from a spot in the Class 6A Section 2 qualifiers. Stone fell in a two-person sudden death playoff.

“For her, at her age to be in a playoff like that, it is nerve racking,” Dubose said. “Any time when you are in something called sudden death it is tough, and there is a lot of pressure but Catherine has a ton of skill.”

The four Chilton County golfers will travel to Mobile on May 2 for a practice round at the Mobile Country Club before the sub-state round the next day.