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Knights finish fourth in state

The North Lincoln Knights golf team placed fourth in the state in the 1A State Golf Tournament in Pinehurst, NC.
Jordan Matthews were the overall winners shooting 614, while East Surry placed second with 627, Williamston finished third with 634.
The Knights represented Lincoln County well on Monday and Tuesday shooting a 638.
Other team scores were: Starmount 639, Ayden Grifton 652, West Davidson 671, Spring Creek 684 and Murphy 688.
Knights head coach Mark Lackey was thrilled with his team’s performance at Pinehurst.
“It’s a pretty good accomplishment. It’s the highest I’ve ever finished as far as taking teams,” he said.
North Lincoln’s Kenny Bethea paced his team shooting 76-76, for a 152 which was good enough for a top five finish in the state.
Bethea was the Southern Foothills 1A Golfer of the Year, leading his team to the conference crown.
Other individual scores from North were: Will Campbell 78-82=160, Carson King 81-80=161, Zack Kiser 84-81=165, Reid Ketner 85-85=170 and Matthew Wentworth 93-91=184.
Lackey believes if his team’s putting would have been better, they could have placed higher. But he is proud of them beating five other 1A schools.
“For a first year school, I thought finishing fourth was great. I couldn’t be prouder of them. We played hard and we ran into some breaks on the golf course that got us. The greens will jump up and bite you and that’s what they did to us,” he said.
The Knights returned to Lincoln County on Tuesday and already have next year on their minds.
“It was a great learning experience for our kids and they set their goal for next year to go back, so we’ll see what happens,” Lackey said.
North Lincoln finishes the season 40-9 on the season. Lackey believes he has several groups to thank to help them have such a successful first year.
“I’m happy for the kids, the school and I want to thank the parents and the school for their support all year long,” he said.
The Knights find themselves in a blessed situation, as they will lose no players from this year’s team.
“I’ve got everybody coming back and maybe some new players from the middle school will come up and help us out as well,” Lackey said.
Lackey was particularly pleased for a few of his kids who narrowly missed qualifying for the state at East Lincoln last year.
“It was very gratifying to see those kids that were at East, who missed out on going to the State last year by four strokes, have the opportunity to go down and participate. The excitement of the tournament is something they’ll carry with them the rest of their life,” he said.
With a Southern Foothills 1A Championship, a Regional runner-up and fourth-place finish in the state his team has already made plenty of memories and quite an impression on the coach.
“They’re a bunch of good kids and are fine golfers. And I look forward to the future,” Lackey said.by John Mark Brooks

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