Harrison finished with a 318 team score to win its 16th consecutive region championship and automatically qualify for the state tournament, which will be held May 20 at Spring Hill Country Club in Tifton.
Meanwhile, Kennesaw Mountain’s Jonathan Keppler, who captured the Region 4AAAAA crown last year, captured a consecutive titles after carding a 3-over 75 over the par-72, 6,511-yard course.
Keppler will join his Mustang teammates May 6 in the Class AAAAAA sectional at Brookfield Country Club in Roswell. Kennesaw Mountain shot 327, just below the sectional qualifying score of 330, to advance.
The top four teams from each region advanced to the sectional meet, provided they each shot 330 or better. Region champions which shot 330 or below automatically advanced to the state meet.
In previous seasons, the top two teams in the region moved on to state, but the new scoring rule, along with the addition of a sectional tournament, was instituted for the first time in an attempt to get the best teams to the state championship.
“It’s nice to win and shoot the qualifying score the first time it’s in play,” Harrison coach Dennis Attaway said. “We’re very balanced like we were last year, and we rely on all six guys, but we only need four to come in with some good scores.”
Sam Maryland, Matt McMahon and Nick Bell each shot 79 for Harrison, while Jacob Eanes, the Hoyas’ No. 6 golfer, came in at 81. Luke Schniederjans shot 83 and Brian Greaves 84.
With the state tournament roughly one month away, Attaway provided a contingency plan into his scheduling to keep Harrison’s competitive fire going.
“We have a tournament this Saturday at the site of the championship, so we can get a peek and a feel for the course,” he said. “We also have a tournament in May in Vidalia, so we’ll keep the kids going so they’ll be ready.
“I’m really proud of the guys. They’re very unselfish and they enjoy each other’s success.”
Kennesaw Mountain found success behind Keppler, Cole Hunsucker (83), Marshall Cua (84) and Zach Wilson (85). It’s the second straight season the Mustangs have reached the postseason.
“I think we played what I expected, but we could have done better,” Kennesaw Mountain coach Chris Walker said. “Zach Wilson, our No. 5 golfer, had a great back nine. He shot 47 on the front, but 38 on the back, and his score got us into sectional. That was huge.”
Keppler’s day didn’t start out well, with three bogeys and a triple bogey over his first four holes. He finished the front nine at 5-over 41, but recovered nicely on the back with three birdies and a bogey for a 2-under 34.
“It’s pretty awesome to win two (region championships) in a row,” said Keppler, a sophomore. “I didn’t expect it, but to have it in my freshman and sophomore years is very nice.
“It’s a hard course, but after the first four holes, I knew there’d be some opportunities for birdies. I knew I wasn’t out of it that early, but I had to claw back into it and I did.”
According to Attaway, Keppler, last year’s Class AAAAA state champion, isn’t guaranteed a berth into the state tournament as the region champion because his team didn’t automatically qualify. He will have to qualify with his team at sectionals, or finish among the top four low individuals whose teams don’t advance to state.
“It’s kind of unfortunate, but it makes me want to play better at sectionals,” Keppler said. “I’d really like my whole team to make it, so we’ll do our best.”
Although Keppler hasn’t made the state tournament yet, Hillgrove’s Tyler Cunningham did. According to Attaway, Cunningham, who shot 78, moved on to Tifton as the low scorer on a non-advancing team. He was 3-over through 16 holes, but finished with two double bogeys and a birdie to conclude the round.
“This will be my first time at state, so that’s pretty cool,” Cunningham said. “I doubled 16 and 17 and came back with a birdie on 18, so if I play par on those, I could have been in a playoff with Jonathan. I’m disappointed with that, but I do still get to go to state. I wish my teammates were coming with me, though.”
Hillgrove finished third at 339, followed by North Cobb (375), Marietta (393), McEachern (395) and Campbell (396). South Cobb and Pebblebrook did not finish.