MOULTRIE -- Led by three strong, veteran eighth-graders, the Colquitt County middle schools golf team will open its season on Thursday when it goes to Valdosta to meet Lowndes Middle School.

First-year coach Matt Key will send out Clarke Hendrick at No. 1, John Fordham at No. 2 and Anna Leigh Keith at No. 3.

The three are expected to be among the best in the conference this season.

"We should be pretty strong," Key said. "And they should be a boost for the varsity, something they can build on."

Colquitt County won the South Georgia Athletic Conference tournament championship last year when Hendrick finished with an eagle on 17 and a birdie on 18 for 69 at Sunset Country Club.

Fordham and Keith each shot a 79 in the tournament.

The three are joined on the middle school team's roster by Brant Dotson, Billy Edwards, Davis Edwards, Payne Newsome, Harden Mobley, Katy Hargrove, Jaycee Eunice and A.J. Hood.

Billy Edwards and Hood also are veterans of last year's conference tournament champion team.

After playing host to the conference tournament the last three years, Colquitt County will have to travel to Kinderlou Forest in Valdosta for this year's April 11 event.

Key and his team instead will play host to the first Baby Packer Invitational, to be held at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 22.

Teams from Lowndes,Tift County, Coffee, McIntyre Park and Colquitt County will participate in the 18-hole tournament.

Also on the middle school team's schedule is a March 21 date in Thomasville against McIntyre Park, a March 28 trip to Tift County's Spring Hill County Club and an April 22 appearance at the Lowndes Middle School Booster Tournament at Francis Lake in Valdosta.

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