A special thanks to Dan McDonald and Ken Trahan of CrescentCitySports.com
LAFAYETTE – For the eighth straight year, Louisiana’s best high school golfers will converge Monday and Tuesday on Acadiana as the area hosts the 2023 Ochsner Health LHSAA state boys’ and girls’ golf championships.
Championship play begins Monday at 9 a.m. with the first of two 18-hole rounds over a tournament-record five courses, with approximately 250 boys’ and girls’ qualifiers from last week’s regional competitions taking part in six divisions determined by enrollment. The second and final round is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday.
Boys Division I will compete at The Farm d’Allie (6,536 yards, par 72) in Carencro, Boys Division II will be held at The Wetlands Golf Club (6,348 yards, par 72) in Lafayette, Boys Division III will compete at Cane Row Golf Club (6,291 yards, par 72) in New Iberia and Boys Division IV will be held at Bayou Bend Country Club (6,105 yards, par 71) in Crowley. Girls Division I and II girls will return to Les Vieux Chenes Golf Club (5,679 yards, par 74) in Youngsville.
Twelve regional tournaments were held across the state Monday-Wednesday, two in each division, with the top four teams and the top four individuals not on those teams in each regional qualifying for the state championships.
The 2020 state tournament was not held due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but has been staged in the Acadiana area every other year since 2015 at different sites. This season’s event is the first that has been held at five different courses.
All six of last year’s team champions made it through regional qualifying and are back to defend their titles, including one – Ascension Episcopal of Youngsville in Boys Division III – going for a fifth straight title after winning its regional by a 41-stroke margin. C. E. Byrd of Shreveport has won five of the last seven championships in Boys Division I and has three of its five lineup players returning.
Ouachita Christian of Monroe is a two-time winner in Boys Division IV, Barbe of Lake Charles has won two straight in Girls Division I and St. Thomas More of Lafayette has won two of the last three Boys Division II titles. Ursuline Academy of New Orleans is the defending champion in Girls Division II after winning that division by a 27-stroke margin last year.
Along with the returning team winners, individual champions are returning in four of the six divisions – and in two of those divisions, the top four individuals from last year’s championships all return. In Boys Division I, Joshua Achord of St. Paul’s won last year’s title, while Walter Anderson of Catholic-Baton Rouge, James Holtsclaw of C. E. Byrd and Noah McWilliams of Benton were all in last year’s top four.
The top four also return in Boys Division IV, including two-time individual champion Caden Lester of Ouachita Christian. Logan Heltz of Christ Episcopal, Cole Haase of Riverside Academy and Adam Trahan of Episcopal-Acadiana also return from last year’s best four finishers.
Ross Anderson of St. Louis Catholic won last year’s Boys Division II title and returns along with runner-up Dax Reaux of tournament host Teurlings Catholic. The top returning players in Boys Division III are 2002 runner-up Jay Mendell and third place finisher Kale Fontenot, both from Ascension Episcopal.
Morgan Guepet of St. Martin’s is a two-time champion in Girls Division II, while 2002 third-place finisher Teagan Connors of The Willow School is the top returnee in Girls Division I.
The state tournaments are open to the public at no charge at all five sites. A very limited number of carts are available for rental to spectators at all five courses on a first-come, first-served basis. A coaches’ meeting will be held at 8 a.m. Monday, one hour prior to the first tee time, at each of the five courses with attendance mandatory for all coaches.