By Trey Williams
Unicoi County basketball coach John Good said he thought Caleb Peterson might able to help him as a freshman, and it’s happening a lot sooner than he’d anticipated.
Good added golf coach to his duties when Gene Renfro left to return to his Happy Valley alma mater after coaching the Blue Devils in their opening match of the season.
Peterson, a promising post player in middle school last year, is posting respectable golf scores now as a freshman.
“Caleb Peterson has been playing as our No. 1,” Good said. “He shot a 47 versus Dobyns-Bennett/Tennessee High in his first varsity match.”
Renfro noted Peterson’s upside in the offseason and revisited it after the opening match at the Johnson City Country Club on July 29. Peterson’s length was mentioned by Renfro.
“Caleb’s got a chance (to be a good one),” Renfro said.
Two more Petersons, sophomores Ethan and Isaac, are playing Nos. 2 and 3, respectively.
“They have stroked the ball well,” Good said, “but have not scored well.”
The Blue Devils’ only senior is Adam Lewis. He shot the low round in the opener and is playing at No. 4.
“Adam had the low score at the (Johnson City) Country Club,” Renfro said. “He just had an awesome day. Adam brings leadership.”
Connor Banner, Carson Woodward and Kameron Bell have also contributed for the Blue Devils, who are more experienced than last year’s squad.
“Last year’s team score at the conference and district were better than they were the previous two years,” Renfro said, “and everybody’s coming back, basically. And then you add Caleb Peterson and Kameron Bell, who are products of the middle school program.”
For the Lady Devils, senior Leah Delp carded a 62 in the season opener. So did freshman Lilly Hopson.
“Leah Delp is the lone senior,” Renfro said, “and she’s coming back for her second season. She’s improving every day. I could see the improvement from last year to this year.
“Lilly Hopson is a freshman. She’s a basketball player as well. She’s a great athlete and she showed flashes during the middle school season of the potential she has.”
Another freshman, Kynzie Jones, has also joined the team.
“We hope to show improvement,” Good said. “I told the kids in golf you are competing versus the course more than the opponent. Cut a stroke off each time out.”
UCHS was scheduled to play at Elizabethton on Monday, Aug. 24, and at Twin Creeks on Tuesday, Aug. 25, after The Erwin Record’s press deadline for this issue. They will play at the Johnson City Country Club on Wednesday, Aug. 26, then at Tri-Cities Golf Course on Monday, Aug. 31, and Tuesday, Sept. 1.
UCHS officials remind fans planning to attend matches that face coverings should be worn and social distancing guidelines should be followed at all times. Temperature checks will take place upon entry.