“We’ve watched this group mature the last four years, improve and become consistent,” Lions head coach Bob Chappel said of his all-senior lineup.
This time, they left little to chance. After finishing runner-up by 16 strokes in 2010 and 23 shots last year, the Lions shot a 339 to finish 13 strokes ahead of their nearest competitor, Creekside Christian, in the four-team field this year.
Rounding out Faith Christian’s lineup were: Dalton Thiel (86) and James Yevick (89) as well as Justin Lewis and Eric Berryman (96 each). The Campus (365) and Cumberland Christian (441), in third and fourth respectively, rounded out the team standings.
Faith Christian has now finished in the top three at state the past four years.
Thursday’s victory was sweet redemption for more reasons than one. It not only provided the school its first state championship in any sport, but it also capped a season where the Lions (7-0) went undefeated in team match play and won its Independent Christian School of Georgia and Alabama Athletic Association matches by an average margin of 37.8 strokes per round.
Included in the run was a 53-stroke victory last week in sub-state against Young Americans Christian at the Griffin Country Club. It all added up to make FCA the prohibitive favorites heading to Thursday’s championship match where, after finishing third in 2009 and runner-up in 2010 and 2011, the Lions did not disappoint.
Thiel and Farrell each garnered All-State honors while Flake, who finished runner-up in the individual standings by 10 strokes, was named Tournament MVP.
The icing on the cake for Chappel were the compliments he received from the other coaches.
“They said the team conducted itself well and all of the players were complete gentlemen,” added Chappel.
Chappel knows his team team is in for a rebuilding year.
“We’ll bring in the young guys next year and start working with them and hopefully in a few years be right back to challenging for the title,” he said.