FAYETTEVILLE -- Fayetteville's boys golf team isn't satisfied after winning four consecutive state titles.
The reason goes beyond simply adding another ring to their few remaining ringless fingers.
Fayetteville High teams have combined for 131 state championships in sports sanctioned by the Arkansas Activities Association, but only a handful of teams have won four or more consecutive state titles.
Girls Indoor Track^1999-2004^5
Boys Outdoor Track^1983-86^4
Boys Cross Country^1982-85^4
Boys Cross Country^1969-75^7
Girls Cross Country^1968-74^7
*Sources: fhsbulldogs.com and the Arkansas Activities Association
They want to make history.
They want to be the first Fayetteville boys golf team to win five straight state championships, and the Bulldogs boast more than enough firepower to achieve the feat.
Coach Scott Williams addressed the goal with his players during a team meeting earlier this week.
"I told them, 'Guys, this just got a lot harder,'" Williams said, "'We need to realize this target just got a lot bigger on our backs. Everybody out there is shooting for you. Who doesn't want to say they've knocked off the best team around?'
"'And don't think it can't happen -- Because it can.'"
Avoiding complacency and continuing to fight to get better each and everyday as Williams puts it, is paramount to achieving the previously unachievable. A fifth state championship would put Bulldogs boys golf in a class by itself, although Fayetteville's girls golf team won seven straight from 2005-11. Fayetteville's boys last won four in a row from 1960-63.
Only one boys golf team has ever won five straight in the state's largest classification when Cabot did it from 1997-2001.
"The kids want five and I want five," Williams said. "They're going after the record. That's an extra incentive. They have worked so hard at putting all these years together that they want to do something that's never been done and be able to stand alone.
"It still has to be done. We're not counting anything before it happens, but they have the mindset and the ability to make it happen."
That's an understatement. Fayetteville fields three players capable of serving as the No. 1 golfer on any other team in the state in seniors Jackson Hole and Fisher Vollendorf and junior Denver Davis. The Bulldogs began their drive for five defense by defeating Rogers High 284-307 during a match at Fayetteville Country Club on Thursday. Cole and Vollendorf led the way by firing a 67 and 69, respectively, while Davis and Jacob Nolen each shot a 74.
With a roster of 12 players, Nolen is part of a large group vying for a regular spot in the team's top five for each tournament. Noah Lopez and brothers Fletcher and Palmer McSpadden are among the others.
"If we could play 8-10 deep, there wouldn't be any competition at all," Williams said. "It's going to be a dogfight between those guys to be in our top five because they are all very, very good players.
"What a great position to be in as a coach? I have to decide what guy who can shoot a 74 or 75 that I'm not going to take."
Fayetteville athletic director Steve Janski credited the coaching staff and players with putting in the countless hours needed to hone their golf swings. He also said community support has played a role in helping the squad string together so many successful seasons in a row.
"It's all added up to a historic run of four in a row and they're now shooting for an unprecedented fifth state title," Janski said. "I just can't say enough and be more proud of of what they've done, what they're doing and what they will be doing."
Coincidentally, the Bulldogs have the chance to accomplish the feat on their home course. They host this season's 7A boys state championship at Fayetteville Country Club on Oct. 2-4.
"It's a great opportunity," Janski said. "We really appreciate Fayetteville Country Club for everything they've done and for opening up the club for what will be a very special event.
"There will be a lot on the line."
Sports on 08/19/2017
Print Headline: Purple'Dogs drive for 5