GUYTON — It had already been a spring of accomplishments for the South Effingham boys golfers before they boarded the bus and headed to Jekyll Island for a practice round Sunday.
Coach Pete Goggin said the goal this season was a trip to the Class AAAAAA state championships and now he was in the driver’s seat — literally. Goggin drives the team bus.
South earned a spot among the elite 12 teams in Class AAAAAA by finishing second at the Area 1-AAAAAA Championships in April.
“It was a super exciting day because we didn’t make it last year and the boys team has only been to state a few times in the school’s history,” said Beth Goggin, Pete’s wife, who coached the South girls but worked with the boys as well after head coach Donald Chumley left in March.
Effingham County’s girls earned a ticket to state as well. They finished fourth in area play but then won an eight-team Sectionals — a play-in tournament for state — to advance.
The boys and girls golf state championships — two-day, 36-hole tournaments – are ongoing at the Jekyll Island Golf Club (boys played at Pine Lakes, girls at Indian Mounds) today and Tuesday.
The Mustangs had those dates circled almost a month ago. They haven’t been to state since 2018 when they competed in Class AAAAA.
This time, in area competition at the Southern Landings Golf Club in Warner Robins, South rode the one-two punch of senior Jacob Fripp and junior Andrew Carr, who finished one-two on the leaderboard. Fripp was low medalist with a 2-under 70 and Carr shot a 73.
“Jacob and Andrew are good friends so they compete and it drives them to be their best,” Pete Goggin said.
At area, Fripp, who is headed to York College (Pa.) on a golf scholarship, pulled away from the field when he sank an eagle putt on No. 17 and sealed the win with a par on No. 18.
Gage Flowers and Payton Scholl, both juniors, shot an 81 and 94 respectively to contribute to the team score of 318 – six shots behind Glynn Academy.
Effingham County’s boys placed seventh (365) in the nine-team area.
In the girls area competition, ECHS was fourth (top three players’ scores count towards the team score) with a 302. South was fifth at 309.
The Goggins moved to the county two years ago — Pete teaches science, Beth teaches math at SEHS — coming from Johns Creek, a perennial state power that has won five consecutive state championships.
“We know what we’re going to be up against,” Beth Goggin said. “We’re telling them they’ve already accomplished one big goal, now just play relaxed. This will be another memory in your life.”