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Eastside competes in 5th playoffs
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The Eastside boys' golf team wrapped up its fifth straight season reaching the state championship this weekend.

The Eagles finished in 12th in the 16-team tournament by shooting a team total of 347 at Augusta Country Club.

Quinn Murphy led Eastside with a 77, pulling off the score after starting four-over after the first two holes.

"He had a heck of a round and battled all day long to end up with a 77," Eastside coach Jay Cawthon said.

Seniors Brandon Shives and Jordan Liefels finished with an 83 and 91, respectively. Matt Mitchell chipped in with 96 and Jack Mitchell and Ryan Dial had a 97 each.

While it was the fifth straight time for Eastside in the playoffs, Liefels was in his second state tournament and Shives, his third.

The two continued a tradition of providing senior leadership to the Eagles throughout their five-year run.

"I think it all started back with Taylor Smith and his senior year," Cawthon said. "Every year since then it seems the senior class doesn't want to break the streak. They really work hard and push the younger ones. It comes down to senior leadership."

In 2012 the leadership came in the form of examples during practice and dedication throughout their careers.

"They knew how things were done," Cawthon said. "They've been around the program for a while."

Shives and Liefels will leave Eastside golf in good hands with a solid group of upcoming juniors, including current sophomore Murphy to continue the Eagles' tradition.

It's a tradition that includes not only playoff appearances, but also region titles and Newton Cup championships.

"We reached all our goals except winning the region championship this year," Cawthon said. "We retained the Newton Cup, which is first and foremost, and we did make it to state. Those are our two main goals.

"I look for big things for us next year; we have a lot coming back."

The Region 4-AAAA champions Spalding was the Class AAA third-place state finisher with a score of 302.

Finishing second was Richmond Academy of Region 3-AAA.

Richmond Academy shot 296 with four players shooting 75 or below. The State Champion was Gainesville with a 295.

Parks Brown of Gainesville was the low medalist with a 68.

Pep Brown and Jackson Bishop each shot 75, Lawson King 76 and Grant Lasseter 77 and Nathan Williams 82 for Gainesville.

"The course was playing very hard, the greens were set up hard and the pin placements were tough," Cawthon said. "All in all, I was proud of them. I wish we could have shot better but the state championship five years in a row is an honor."