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Rockdale golf squads have inconsistent year

CONYERS - It was a season of ups and downs for both of Rockdale's golf teams.

For girls coach Frank Cassino, his team successfully defended its Conyers Cup title, and his top player, Kayla Kelly, had another solid year.

"One of the season highs was winning the Conyers Cup again. Another highlight was watching Kayla (Kelly) make a run at being the individual region champ," Cassino said. "She came in second in the region tournament. She's just a heck of a golfer. She has a great attitude. Even though she's a really good golfer, she's always pushing herself to get better."

Cassino said he'll be rebuilding the team next year as the Lady Bulldogs lost their top two golfers - Kelly and Alex Madsen - to graduation.

"I'm going to miss them. Alex and Kayla had a good little thing going," Cassino said. "Even though we didn't win as many tournaments as I would have liked this season, I thought the hard work and the effort was there. We just couldn't get consistent. One girl would perform well one day, then at the next tournament, the other would step it up. It just seemed like we couldn't get the girls on the same page. It was definitely an up-and-down year."

Boys coach David Phenix also felt his golfers played well at times.

"Overall, I think we got better. The guys played hard and learned a lot," Phenix said. "Golf is kind of a unique sport and it takes a different kind of person to be a successful golfer. You've got to be able to analyze capabilities and really know what you can and can't do, and then make those decisions on the course. I thought we had a good deal of senior leadership on this team. Now, we'll end up losing at least three or four of our top six, so we'll need some young guys to step in and fill in their shoes.

"I think everybody on the team improved, but if I had to pick a most valuable player, I would say Josh Lambo probably stepped up the most. Really, all six of them showed improvement, and that's what I was really looking for. The boys golf teams have kind of struggled over the past few years, so my goal was to get all of the kids to get better throughout the year, and I think we pretty much accomplished that goal. Everybody's scores got lower as the season progressed. That's something positive that we can take into next year."