Lambert High School's carpool driveway is lined on the passenger's side with signs listing the school's unfathomable amount of athletic accomplishments it has reeled in since opening in 2009.
Somebody can tell the school to order two more signs.
Lambert's girls and boys golf teams left their respective state tournament sites late Monday afternoon as Class AAAAAA state champions. It was the third consecutive championship for the girls team, led by a low score of 75 by junior Lauren Lightfritz that was a slot short of medalist honors, while the boys won their first state title after regressing from a sixth place finish in 2013 to 11th last year. Lambert's boys were led by Jake Fendt, who's 4-under card of 68 earned him a second-place finish in individual scoring.
Lambert's girls finished with a team total of 229 at Springhill Country Club in Tifton, seven strokes ahead of Colquitt County, with Johns Creek and Mill Creek tied at third with scores of 239. South Forsyth's girls team finished in fourth place with a score of 244.
The funny thing was, Lightfritz saw the three-peat coming for the ladies – three years ago.
“Me and Kayley (Marschke), we set our goal to win four in a row when we were just freshmen,” Lightfritz said. “This was without a doubt always our goal, but we aren't done. We expect it next year as well. It's something we always talk about.”
Marschke, also a junior, shot a 77, as did sophomore Christine McDonnell, while freshman Kate Owen shot an 81 in her first showing at state. All four girls are slated to return next season.
“I'm not shocked at all. I have so much confidence of all the girls on the team and I'm just so proud,” Lightfritz said.
Lambert girls coach Joel Posey said the heat was the biggest factor, but that the girls stuck through it around the back nine.
“Right after the turn, all of the girls hit a wall between heat and playing practice rounds, they were just getting tired, but man did they grind it out,” Posey said. “I'm so proud of them. I knew what the girls were capable of going down there, and these scores don't surprise me at all. They do this day in and day out.”
“The heat itself wasn't so bad, but all of the bugs down there can make concentration difficult, flying in your face while you're trying to putt,” Lightfritz laughed.
Thirty miles southwest of the girls, Lambert's boys edged Peachtree Ridge by a single stroke. Fendt's five birdies against a lone bogey led the way.
“I was feeling really confident going into the tournament,” Fendt said. “We all did actually. We had not played our best tournament this year and everybody was tightening up our games.”
Fellow senior Brennan Bogdanovich shot a 70 for the Longhorns, while junior Brett Baron shot a 75 in his first state appearance and senior Jake Thomas carded a 77.
“I'm not surprised (Fendt) did it, but I'm happy he did it,” Lambert boys coach Brian Jakaitis said. “It feels great as a team. This was our goal at the beginning of the year. We knew we had the team to win state.”
Jakaitis said his team had to shoot par or below on the back nine, as they all did, after a rough front nine. He had an easy explanation for the early erratic play.
“I'm sure they were definitely nervous, but why wouldn't you be?” he said.
South’s fourth-place finish was a strong one for head coach Ronnie Davis, who was a little surprised to see his No. 1, Kelly Strickland, shoot an 82 after considerably low scores, including a 78 in sectionals, heading into play.
“Based on what she had done recently I expected maybe a mid-70s score, but overall, as a team, I think we ended up finishing right where we expected to finish,” Davis said.
Menji (Tiffany) Kang shot a 78, while Sam Bearden shot an 84 and Amanda Jackson shot a 92 for the War Eagles.
West Forsyth's boys, who had already won at Sunset Country Club at the Packer Invitational earlier in the season, finished fourth behind Robert Shaw's 73, which was good for sixth place as an individual. Austin Amburgy shot a 76, Connor Pollman shot an 80 and Drew Ridings shot an 81.
“Obviously to finish fourth in the state is the best finish we’ve ever had as a golf program,” West coach Chris Roy said. “We finished off the best season we've ever had. It was a fantastic day for us.”
West Forsyth's Allie Fletcher shot 83 (+11) as an individual at Springhill, while Forsyth Central's Hannah Walker shot 79 (+7) in the Class AAAAA tournament at Maple Ridge Golf Course in Columbus.