Girls Golf Player of the Year

by Cliff Mehrtens

Maegan Ports and her Lake Norman Charter golf teammates took their new conference by storm.

The Knights, with Ports consistently being their best scorer, won the Southern Piedmont 1A/2A conference title in their first season as a member.

“We knew at the beginning that they weren’t really expecting us to be that good,” said Ports, a junior. “It was our first year. We came out and showed them we could play.”

The Knights’ shining star was Ports, who was the team’s low scorer in all seven of its matches. She won the individual medal five times, and the two times she didn’t win, she finished second and third.

That dominance and consistency makes Ports the Carolina Weekly Newspaper Group’s Lake Norman-Area Girls Golfer of the Year.

Ports had a 41.8 scoring average (playing nine holes) during the season. She accomplished it not with wild fluctuations, but by routinely shooting in the 40-44 range.

Ports shot a 43 to win the conference tournament by eight strokes. She was named the Southern Piedmont 1A/2A Player of the Year. Her performance also led Lake Norman Charter to the team conference championship.

She teamed with talented teammates Kaelyn Pack, Kayla Thomas, Brittany Buckstad and Megan Ferry to finish second (among 13 teams) at the Class 1A/2A Western Regional at Woodbridge Golf Club in Kings Mountain. Ports finished eighth in the individual competition at the regional event.

Lake Norman Charter’s strong regional finish qualified it for the state tournament at Longleaf Country Club in Southern Pines. Ports and the other Knights finished 10th – impressive but not as well as they would’ve liked.

“Last year I went to the regionals alone,” Ports said. “This year we went as a team, and it was so much better. We stayed in the hotel together, played (golf) together. It’s easier to qualify as a team, and I think the experience helped all of us.”

Ports, who hones her game throughout the year, said a solid offseason of practice by the Knights could make next year even more productive. Personally, she’d like to improve on her hitting distance. Ports estimated she gives up about 50 yards to other players on tee shots, but compensates for that with a splendid short game.

Ports set the school home-match record with a 43 on Sept. 8 at River Run Country Club in Davidson. Four days later, she carded a school-record 40 in a Southern Piedmont 1A/2A meet.

Ports was Lake Norman Charter’s captain for the second straight year. It’s a role she’ll likely reprise next fall, when the Knights return the core of their talented team.

“It was a fun year,” she said. “I’d say the best part was our team going to regionals and the state tournament.”