DRC_Argyle Eagles

The Argyle boys golf team is no stranger to the state tournament. After winning the Class 4A Region I title in Lubbock last month, the Eagles will make their eighth straight appearance at state this week.

Argyle, which finished second to Monahans last year after a run of three consecutive state championships, will tee off at 9:10 a.m. Monday at the Plum Creek Golf Course in Kyle.

This is the first time since 2015 the Eagles will be competing at state without the label of defending champion.

“We’re obviously very proud to be here,” Argyle coach Cody Vanderford said. “Not everybody gets an opportunity, and to do it eight years in a row is amazing. We’re coming down feeling like we have a chance to win it, and that creates more excitement, tension, pressure and all of that.

“That’s all part of the fun of it, and the team that embraces that and goes out and plays good golf will have the best chance to win.”

While the Argyle program has dominated the state’s golf landscape for the last decade, this year’s team features several new faces. Vanderford, who spent 13 years as Flower Mound’s head football coach and six years coaching boys golf in Prosper, is in his first year as the golf coach at Argyle.

Isaiah Brevick, Blake Kelly and Zane Griggs will also be competing at state for the first time, while sophomore Justus Christman and senior Logan Diomede, who is signed with Abilene Christian, have experience at state.

Diomede finished 31st individually as a freshman (75, 85 — 160), 13th as a sophomore (80, 81 — 161) and fourth as a junior (77, 72 — 149). Christman was 20th as a freshman last year (84, 79 — 163).

“It’s huge to have good leadership on your team,” Vanderford said. “Logan is a great leader, without a doubt, and Justus’ experience down here last year is very valuable. They’ve been able to share some ideas and thoughts on how to approach it with the other guys.”

With Diomede, Brevick and Christman leading the way, the Eagles narrowly edged Monahans by two strokes for the regional championship. Monahans won the state title last year to bring Argyle’s streak of championships to an end and Vanderford said the team’s split a pair of tournaments at Plum Creek earlier this season.

Monahans (Gavin Slade, Nick Carnero, Alonso Ruiz, Bond Helfin and Jason Pittman II) will tee off at 8 a.m. Monday while Argyle gets started at 9:10. Round 2 of the two-day tournament will begin Tuesday morning.

“I think playing in a regional tournament that was as competitive as ours was is helpful, for sure,” Vanderford said. “We’re going to go out and treat it like any tournament we’ve played this year, and if we play good golf we’ll have a chance. I hope it’s a two-team race, but every team down here is good. Monday is going to be huge — we want to have a good first day to put ourselves in position for Day 2. That’s all we can ask.”

BRADY KEANE can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @BradyKeane.

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