When the final scores had been tallied Tuesday at Juniper Hill, there was one new winner and one repeat champion in the Hilen Cup.
Franklin County’s boys golf team unseated defending champion Western Hills for the team title, and FCHS freshman Jacob Cook was medalist for the fourth straight year.
“I’m just ecstatic,” FCHS coach James Myers said. “I’m just really proud of these kids. We’ve been so young the last few years, but we keep fighting and scrapping, fighting and scrapping to get better and improve and compete.”
This was the 19th Hilen Cup, which consists of three nine-hole rounds for the local boys teams. Each team and individual gets to drop their worst round.
The Flyers shot 151 Tuesday and finished with a two-round total of 309, edging WHHS by five strokes.
“I’m very disappointed we lost the Gene Hilen Cup,” WHHS coach Warren Mitchell said. “I consider it to be a very prestigious event. It’s not only important to our team, I know it’s very important to Coach Myers and his players as well.
“We were lucky enough to have the cup for one year. Hopefully we can get it back next year.”
FCHS had four of its five players shoot in the 30s – Cook shot an even-par 35, followed by Will Molen, Ben Nolan and Luke Kellerman all at 39. John Harnice finished with a 44.
“Will Molen and Ben Nolan, when they play like they played today, these are the numbers we shoot, the low 150s,” Myers said, “and we’re very good when we do that.
“Jacob and Luke have really become our leaders. They’re tremendous, tremendous kids, and what can I say about Jacob? He’s the best. We’re blessed to have him on this team, and I’m very blessed to coach him and the rest of the team. I couldn’t ask for a better group.”
Cook won the Geno Benassi Memorial Award as medalist with a two-round score of 70.
“I didn’t feel any pressure,” Cook said. “I was trying to reach my goal to break 70 for my total. I didn’t do it, but I’m happy with my score.”
Chris Hughes led WHHS with a 37, followed by Blake Simpson with a 38, Nick Wilkins with a 39, Travis Hammond at 44, and Macaulay Hurst with a 47.
“I’m extremely proud of my guys for grinding it out,” Mitchell said. “Some of them had big numbers early and they could have easily folded up the tents and given up, but not a one of them did that.
“Not only that, but the level of sportsmanship and class they showed I’m extremely proud of. Under the circumstances and pressure, it would have been very easy for them to have let their emotions get the best of them, but they hung in there and I’m very proud of them for holding it together.”
The two teams will meet again Thursday at the Frankfort Country Club in the Frankfort Cup, a nine-hole tournament among the local teams, both boys and girls.
“These kids have accomplished a lot this season,” Myers said, “essentially playing no one over 15 years old. Sometimes that hurts us, but sometimes it’s the difference like today. They played with a lot of energy and intensity, and I’m very, very proud of them.”
In the junior varsity match Western Hills won 181-183.
For the Wolverines, Nelson Hoover led the team with a 42, followed by Chase Mahoney 43, Will Collins 47, Peter Gall 49, and Austin Cox 53.
FCHS’ Will Harnice was medalist with a 40. The Flyers’ other scores were Sam Nolan 43, Walker Lee 48, Alex Kropf 52, and Jacob Bruce 61.