A total of 12 local teams and two individuals are set to participate in the event. Among the 16 teams competing at the Class AAAAA boys meet at Summit Chase Country Club in Snellville are defending champion Harrison along with Hillgrove, Lassiter and Walton.
Both the Hawks, who finished second in Region 4AAAAA, and the first-time Region 5AAAAA champion Trojans are in the state tournament for the first time in school history, while the Region 5AAAAA runner-up Raiders are back for the first time since 2008. Harrison joins Milton (280), Centennial (288) and Lowndes (288) as favorites after the Hoyas scored 289 at their region meet. Harrison is in the field for the 14th consecutive season having won 14 straight region championships. It is also aiming for its fourth state title having won crowns in 2002, '08 and '10. The Hoyas' Michael Garretson is expected to contend for the individual title after firing a 68 to claim Region 4AAAAA medalist honors
North Cobb golfer Austin Williams (79) is also in the field competing for medalist honors as an individual.
"I think Milton's definitely the team to beat," said Harrison coach Billy Peek, who will be stepping down as coach of the Hoyas' golf program after the state tournament. "They've been down in the 280's all season, so they've been consistent. This late in the year, every team has shot, but we're going to have to shoot some excellent rounds to be in contention."
Harrison does have an ace up its sleeve, however; the Hoyas won a five-team tournament played on the Summit Chase course on April 16.
"We played okay the first time we saw the course," Peek said. "It's a huge advantage to have played it already, but we'll still have to go in there solid and not rush things."
Lassiter, which shot 310 at its region meet and beat Walton in a four-hole playoff, will have to see much better numbers from its top four golfers if the Raiders hope to shoot in the 280s. Nevertheless, coach Butch Burden is excited about the opportunity to have his golfers playing for a state title.
"It's nice to have had a week to enjoy the region championship before playing at the state tournament," he said. "Everybody was really excited for us. We gelled at region, and it will be stiff competition at state, so we'll enjoy the moment and play our best."
Kell shot a school record 323 to earn runner-up honors at the Region 5AAAA championship and qualify for the state championships for the first time in school history.
The Longhorns will be among 16 teams competing for the Class AAAA title at Maple Ridge Golf Club in Columbus. Greenbrier (283), Glynn Academy (287), Johns Creek (295) and Habersham Central (294) are among the team favorites, while Kell's Region 5AAAA champion Michael Hines (71) should also be in the hunt for the individual crown.
Joining the 18-team field at the Class A meet at Green Island Golf Club in Columbus are Whitefield Academy and Mount Paran Christian. The Wolfpack (331), who are in the state tournament for the first-time in program history, placed second at their Region 9A tournament, while the Eagles (341), who finished fifth in the state in 2006, third in '07 and second in '08, were runners-up in Region 6A. Brookstone (284), Savannah Christian (305), Wesleyan (301), Holy Innocents' (309) and Aquinas (301) are the favorites.
Whitefield's Region 9A champion Anders Olsson (74) and Mount Paran's Region 6A medalist Tyler Young (73) are among the individual contenders.
The girls' Class AAAAA meet, which is being held at Monroe Golf and Country Club in Monroe, will consist of 14-time region champion and 2000 state champion Harrison (169), Region 4AAAAA runner-up Kennesaw Mountain (188) and Region 5AAAAA champion Walton (160) among its 16 teams. McEachern's Kayla Smith (88) will compete as an individual.
West Forsyth (151) is a heavy favorite with Mill Creek (163), Tift County (158) and Milton (167) all in contention. The Lady Hoyas' Sydney Conrad (76), who won Region 4AAAAA, should compete for medalist honors.
"I had no idea we'd win region," Peek said. "Sydney had a great summer and came in ready to play. If she focuses and works hard, she'll have a chance at medalist. I think 160 will probably win it, and these girls are capable of that or even better if they play the way they're capable of playing."
The Lady Raiders placed third in the state last year after carding a 166. Walton coach Richard Myrick likes how things have set up for his team today.
"We're paired with several of the favorites except for West Forsyth, so I think we'll do okay, but I don't want us to be nervous" he said. "Walton's never won a golf state championship. We're young, and it'll come down to chipping and putting to win it. I like that we'll see those teams who will challenge us."
Among the teams in the 18-team field for the Class A girls championship at Bull Creek Golf Club - East Course in Columbus are Region 9A champion Whitefield Academy (203) and Region 6A runners-up Mount Paran Christian (167).
The Lady Wolfpack's Colleen Panosian captured her second straight region medalist honors to help propel Whitefield Academy to its first state playoff appearance in program history. The Lady Eagles are in the state tournament for the second time in their history after placing 11th last season.
Darlington (164), Mount Paran, Wesleyan (193), Brookstone (193) and Bacon County (183) are expected to compete for the state championship.
Region championship teams from regions 2, 4, 6 and 8 are expected to tee off from hole No. 1 at 8:30 a.m., while champions from regions 1, 3, 5 and 7 are set to go at 8:40 a.m.
Region 2, 4, 6 and 8 runners-up tee off from hole No. 10 at 8:30 a.m., while runners-up from region 1, 3, 5 and 7 go at 8:40 a.m.
Individuals will tee off at 8:20 a.m. from holes No. 1 and No. 1 from their respective regions.