Hilen drawing many of the top teams in state

State Journal Staff Report Published:

Organizers of the Gene Hilen Invitational girls golf tournament are hoping for better weather this year.
The tournament, hosted by the Franklin County and Western Hills girls golf teams, will be Saturday at Juniper Hill. There will be a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m.
Last year the tournament was stopped because of lightning, with most golfers only completing 11 to 14 holes.
This year the tournament has drawn a field of 99 players.
“We’re lucky,” said Lesa Hodge, girls golf coach at FCHS and WHHS. “We’re the only tournament Saturday, and there will be a lot of top competition from across the state.
“We’ll have six of the top seven teams in the state here and most of the top 10 from the state here Saturday.”
Sacred Heart won the tournament two years ago and will be back Saturday. SHA’s Maddie Hamilton was runner-up at the state tournament last year.
This will be the 17th year for the tournament, named in honor of the late Gene Hilen, who was the golf pro at Juniper Hill and an instructor.
“This is a way to remember Gene,” Hodge said. “He touched the lives of so many kids, and he touched the lives of the coaches of these kids.”

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