Science Hill golf brings home state team title; Skeen becomes first SHHS boys golfer to win individual title


Left to Right- Coach Kelly Lane, Coach Kevin Vannoy, Jackson Skeen, Gavin Nickels, Sean Anderson, Tarun Hoskere, Jacob Oakley, Hendrix Price, Carter Counts, Ross Boehling.

The Science Hill boy’s golf team brought home the fourth TSSAA state championship in school history last week, capping off a 91-1 record for the season. The Toppers finished 13 strokes ahead of second place team Farragut after a rain-shortened TSSAA championship at WillowBrook Golf Course.

Science Hill junior Jackson Skeen brought home the first boys individual title in school history, after shooting a 71 and tying with a Farragut golfer.

“It’s amazing,” Skeen said. “But honestly, it hasn’t come to the realization that we’ve won yet. Because we’ve been trying to do it since 2016.”

The Toppers finished as runner-ups in 2016, Skeen’s freshman year, before a fifth-place finish last year.

Behind Skeen’s 71, were Sean Anderson’s round of 72 and Gavin Nickels round of 73. Tarun Hoskere finished with a 75, while Carter Counts shot an 82. Other members of the team included Ross Boehling, Hendrix Price and Jacob Oakley. Assistant coach Kelly Lane also played a big role in the victory, according to Vannoy.

“This year’s journey started last year, actually, because the top five were coming back,” Science Hill golf coach Kevin Vannoy said. “I think that left a desire for them to work hard during the offseason and see what they could do.

“But I’m very proud of this team. They’ve worked very hard and stayed focused all season to reach this goal.”

Knowing they would need to be challenged Vannoy made the Toppers’ schedule extra tough. By the time they made it to the state tournament, the Toppers had already played three 18-hole matches with their biggest competitors in Farragut and Hendersonville.

But still, Vannoy said he was proud of the team keeping their composure and wanting to achieve their goal of a state championship.

“The guys being open to taking coaching, when they’re better golfers than us, they were willing to be coached,” Vannoy said.

Skeen is a junior that has committed to the University of Tennessee, while Anderson has committed to play at Tennessee Tech. Nickels will have a chance to play collegiately, or can go the academic route with a 34 on his ACT. Vannoy said that Hoskere and Counts are also two highly underrated players.

Vannoy said that a championship wouldn’t be possible without the members of the community, including courses that had to alter their schedule to accommodate the Toppers. Vannoy said Mike Jennings (Pine Oaks), the Mike Crowe and Jeremy Beachner (Johnson City Country Club) and Mike Davenport (Blackthorn) all had to switch their schedule around to accommodate a few Topper tournaments and Vannoy wanted to give a “special thank” you to them.

“Without their help and cooperation, this would not be possible,” Vannoy said. “We really appreciate them.”



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