FLOWER MOUND – Lake Dallas senior Trent Pollard and junior Anastasia White were never able to see how far they could go in the postseason last year after the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled most of the 2020 season.
Returning to the links this year despite the current pandemic, Pollard and White, both of whom were regional qualifiers in 2019, recently took the first step to what they hope equates to an appearance in the Class 5A state tournament.
Competing in the District 6-5A tournament last Monday-Thursday at Bridlewood Golf Club, Pollard carded rounds of 75 and 77 for a two-day total of 152 and third overall, while White posted scores of 74 and 78 to finish with a 151 and a tie for fourth place.
“[White and Pollard] aren’t going to regionals as stand-ins,” said Joseph Kysiak, Lake Dallas head coach. “They’re going out there to compete. They have legitimate chances to get out of it and get to state if they play their best. I’m very optimistic of their chances.”
Pollard, a University of Texas-Tyler signee, came into the day tied for second place with Denton’s Connor Maxwell, and only two strokes off the lead.
No one could catch Grapevine’s Michael Chevalier. He built on his day-one lead and went on to shoot 148 for the two-day event to capture the individual title by three strokes over Colleyville Heritage’s Kevin Watts (151).
But, as day two progressed, the battle for the two individual berths into the regional tournament came down to Pollard, Maxwell as well as his Bronco teammate, Zach Tjaden. Pollard secured his spot with his 77, while Tjaden outscored Maxwell 77-83 on Thursday.
“I’m really excited to be able to go back to Lubbock,” Pollard said. “Obviously last year, due to COVID, we weren’t able to go. I’d like some redemption from two years ago, where I really blew up on the back nine. I’m really excited, looking forward to it.”
White, meanwhile, sat in a tie for third overall after the first day of competition and remained steady the second day to earn her second appearance in three years in the regional tournament.
“She showed great progress from last year in the sense that she is trusting her swing,” Kysiak said. “On the course, she is getting better and as every good golfer understands, trusting their swing can be very difficult. It’s the same with Allison Strong, who put herself in the mix to advance for the same reasons.”
Ethan Maloy (88-92, 180), Christian Willis (93-91, 184), Quinton Warren (97-104, 201) and David Jensen (92-110, 202) also represented the Lake Dallas boys. The Falcons carded four-player scores of 348 and 364 for a two-day total of 712, good for fourth in the team standings. Heritage won the team title with a score of 647. Grapevine also advanced its entire team to the regional tournament after taking second overall with a 675.
Lake Dallas’ girls shot 691 to earn third place in the team standings, and the Lady Falcons had three players capture all-district honors, led by White’s spot on the first team. Allison Strong, who tied for ninth with scores of 79 and 85, earned a selection onto the second team. Caroline Puig, who carded scores of 94 and 95, garnered honorable mention.
Strong lost in a playoff for the opportunity to represent Lake Dallas as an alternate at the regional tournament.
Aniston Harrell shot rounds of 101 and 98 for 199 overall. Libby Thompson and Hannah Hicks both showed significant improvement on the second day, carding scores of 99 and 94, respectively, after they shot 101 and 105 on day one.
For Pollard and White, it’s now onto the Region 1-5A tournament, which will be held at Rawls Golf Course in Lubbock. The girls will play April 19-20. The boys’ event is set for April 21-22.
It’s the same course where Pollard and White competed in 2019 for the same exact event. Pollard will look to become the first male state qualifier from Lake Dallas. White also has high goals and seeks to build on a 70th-place finish from her freshman season.
“It would mean the world to me to be the first,” Pollard said. “I’m just going to keep working hard and try to achieve that goal.”