It took 17 years for the Greenbrier golf team to make it back to the state tournament, and it took a special group to do it.
Sophomore Tyler Williamson and senior twins Carson and Connor Davenport led the team to victory in every tournament they played, including district and regionals. Nathan Meals and Tyler Pitt rounded out the group.
Those five did not simply make it to the state tournament at Willowbrook Golf Club in Manchester. They competed.
On Tuesday, Williamson shot even par. Connor Davenport was one over par, and Carson followed close behind at three over. After one round, Greenbrier sat in third place and trailed first-place Farragut by two strokes.
Wednesday was not their day, as the team shot 27 over par and dropped to fifth place, but to be clear, Greenbrier placed fifth of every school in the Large Class of Tennessee.
Williamson tied for fifth overall at one over par but felt he could have finished higher.
“I definitely didn't play my best, but it was good enough to get me into the top ten,” Williamson said. “I mean, it definitely could have been way better.”
Connor and Carson Davenport finished at nine over par (T26) and 12 over par (T32) respectively. They would not trade this experience for anything.
“It's been awesome,” Carson said. “We couldn't have asked for more after yesterday. And today, we didn't have our stuff, but I mean, it was just a dream come true to come here in the first place. We all had a blast, and we enjoyed ourselves.”
“If you told me that we'd be two shots back after the first day of the state tournament, I wouldn’t believe you, so it's just unreal,” Connor said.
Carson was overwhelmed with emotions after finishing up on the 18th green, taking a moment to hug all of his teammates and coaches.
“(It’s) just crazy because I've been playing with these guys since I was a freshman, and we've been joking about going to state every year,” Carson said. “Then we actually did it this year, and it was my last round with them, so it just made me sad.”
For Carson, playing with his brother made the experience even more meaningful.
“I mean, it's just been great to be able to play with Carson, you know,” Connor said. “Having someone as close as him to me, it's just been fun, and I'm glad I got to play for Greenbrier.“
Both Davenport brothers said the team has become their family, and the end of the season does not mean the end of their days playing together.
“[What I’ll take with me is] definitely the friendships because I mean these guys have like become my brothers, and it's just, it's been amazing,” Carson said. “Like I feel like we're related now.“
“Just being part of this team,” Connor said. “I mean, we're all so close, and I mean, we're just still gonna be playing golf every day after school, so it's just been great being part of this team.”
Their parents, Greg and Julie Davenport, have traveled to many golf tournaments for their boys, but being able to watch them compete on the biggest stage was the perfect way to end their high school careers.
“It's good to see your kids have goals and then to accomplish them,” Greg said. “(We’re) just so proud."
“It's just been so much fun,” Julie said. “We're just so proud of them, and it just couldn’t have ended any better way.”
Head coach Elicia Goostree will miss the leadership the two seniors provide.
“They've definitely grown over the season, but I don't know what I will do next year without Connor and Carson,” Goostree said. “They're great kids.”
Goostree was proud of her team for the work they put in the entire season. She feels like this was the ending they deserved.
“It's been awesome,” Goostree said. “They've all worked really, really hard, and they put their heart and soul in their games. So it's been amazing for me to have them come out here because they've earned that right. They've earned it. They've worked hard.”