Benassi back on the golf course
Fully recovered from hip surgery and pain free, Carmello Benassi is back on the golf course.
Benassi, a graduate of Franklin County High School, has been a golf professional for more than 20 years. He’s currently the golf pro at Barren River Lake State Park, a position he’s held since 2010.
In May he captured the Senior Match Play Championship, winning the championship match 1 up against golf pro Greg Basham of Louisville.
Benassi had Basham down by four after 11 holes, but Basham rallied to tie the match after the 15th hole. Both players parred the next two holes, and Benassi clinched the victory on No. 18 at Audubon Country Club in Louisville.
Benassi, who played golf at Western Kentucky University from 1974-78, was named the Kentucky Golf Professional of the Year in 2009.
“I’ve had a lot of injuries the last several years,” Benassi said. “I had a hip replacement a year and a half ago, and this is the first time I’ve been able to play in some big tournaments that I didn’t hurt.”
Benassi started having trouble with his back, and it was determined his bad hip was causing the back problem.
“It’s a lot of fun getting old,” he said. “I didn’t play much for awhile because it hurt too much, and it took all last year to recover.”
Now that he’s feeling better, Benassi will be playing four tournaments in September, including the Senior Open and the Kentucky PGA Senior Championship. The top three finishers in the Senior Championship qualify for the national tournament.
“Now that I’m not hurting and playing decent,” Benassi said, “I’d like to play as much as I can and close out the year strong. We’ll see how that works.”
Rotary Capital City Classic
The Western Hills High School boys soccer team captured the championship of the Rotary Capital City Classic, defeating Frankfort High 4-2 Saturday night at Sower Soccer Complex.
WHHS players named to the all-tournament team were Cory Johnson, Grayson Arnold and Michael Hatfield.
The Wolverines’ Austin Tucker was named the tournament’s MVP.
WHHS reached the championship game after wins over Franklin County (2-1) and Owen County (4-0).
Also named to the all-tournament team were Bailey Spade, Travis Skelton and Church Gray of Frankfort High; Nathan Hale and Liam May of Franklin County; and Seth Bush and Nash Croley of Owen County.
Flyers 5th in golf tourney
Franklin County’s boys golf team placed fifth in the Commodore Classic Saturday at Tates Creek Golf Course in Lexington.
The Flyers had a team score of 318. Mason County won the team title with a 308.
FCHS’ Jacob Cook tied for third place with an even-par 72. Franklin County’s other scores were Sam Nolan, 81; Luke Kellerman, 82; Ben Nolan, 83; and Will Molen, 84.
Clay County’s Tyler McDaniel was medalist with a 69.
The Flyers play Western Hills in the second round of the Hilen Cup Tuesday at Juniper Hill.
FCHS defense takes a stand
It’s been the offense that’s gotten the most attention for Franklin County’s football team the past three seasons, but the Flyer defense looks like it’s ready to make a statement.
FCHS opened its season Friday with a 54-14 win over North Bullitt. The Flyers held North Bullitt to 112 yards total offense.
Quarterback Dalton Casey was the Eagles’ leading rusher with 60 yards. He completed two passes out of six attempts for 11 yards. Franklin County defensive back Rylan Rowe had more than three times that yardage in the second quarter when he returned an interception from Casey 34 yards for a touchdown.
Rowe went on to return another interception, this one thrown by Tanner Threlkel, for a touchdown late in the game.
FCHS coach Chris Tracy said having defensive-only players has helped the team.
“We rotate three deep on the defensive line, and that allows them, for the lack of a better word, to relax,” Tracy said. “They’re getting three plays and rotating in.
“Denwan Hall (lineman) has done a great job, and so have (defensive backs) Amir Owens and Sheldon (Goins). Those three don’t play any offense for us.
“Isaiah Lee and Sam Anderson are doing a wonderful job, and Logan Duke did a great job.” All three are linebackers.
Duke led FCHS in tackles Friday with nine, and he forced a fumble.
The Flyers host Western Hills Friday.