O’Neal Falcons are Repeat State Champions for Golf
The O’Neal School’s varsity boys’ golf team won their second consecutive NCISAA 2A championship on Tuesday, May 14th at Whispering Pines Country Club. The Falcons dominated the tournament on both Monday and Tuesday winning by 21 shots. The Falcons posted a team total of 447, Harrells Christian Academy posted a 468, and Rocky Mount Academy finished third with a 499 total. The team was led by senior Fulton Smith, a Wake Forest University signee, with a two day score of 140 (67-73) and that was good enough to win the individual title by five shots. Jackson Van Paris finished second with 147 (76-71). Bennett Moore finished tied for ninth with 162 (80-82). The Falcons were rounded out by Jack Morrison who carded a 79 -88 and RJ Jackson who turned in 86-81. Smith, Van Paris and Moore were named to the NCISAA All-State team. "This team was an absolute joy to coach,” says Assistant Coach Jeff Haarlow. “They are group that is driven to be the best they can be and competed every time they got to tee it up. It is a special group and one that will be remembered for a long time in the history of O'Neal athletics. Thanks for the great memories guys!"
Two years ago, then 8th grader, Jackson Van Paris won the individual title at the championship tournament at Mid Pines Country Club with the team winning first runner up. Last year then 7th grader Tommy Morrison won the individual title after extra holes in sudden death and the team won the championship by 16 shots. Presently as a sophomore, Van Paris has verbally committed to Vanderbilt University.
A golf state championship is not unusual for O’Neal with this being the 13th time since the School was founded and the 5th championship as a Division 2A school. Based on NCISAA archives starting in 2003, O’Neal has claimed the individual medalist in 2003 and 2005 by Jack Ulrich ’06, 2006 and 2009 by Michael McGowan ’09, in 2017 by Jackson Van Paris ‘21 in 2018 by Tommy Morrison ’23 and 2019 by Fulton Smith ’19.
O’Neal Varsity Boys Golf Team Members are Fulton Smith, RJ Jackson, Bennett Moore, Charles Bell, Jackson Van Paris, Joseph Dailey, Jack Morrison and Max Martin. The team’s head coach is Matt Vick, assisted by Coach Jeff Haarlow.