No. 4 Mississippi Gulf Coast is the two-time defending MACJC golf champions, and the Bulldogs look for a three-peat starting Sunday.
The state tournament tees off at Wolf Hollow Golf Course in Wesson. The Bulldogs went up Friday to start practicing on the course.
"We're gonna map it out," Gulf Coast coach Tommy Snell said. "We want to work on our short game. We're gonna hit a lot of chips and a lot of putts and just prepare like we always do."
The Bulldogs blitzed the field at the first MACJC regular-season event in Wesson. They led by 18 shots after the first round, cruising to the first of back-to-back victories opening MACJC play.
They haven't won a state event since, though. The host Wolfpack are the sixth-ranked team in the country, and Meridian is tied for fourth with the Bulldogs.
Five teams from the two-day event qualify for the NJCAA District D Tournament, which Gulf Coast is hosting. Those teams will meet at Grand Bear Golf Course in Saucier.
Snell is bringing Colin Troxler (So., Hahnville/Luling, La.), Logan Leary (Fr., Gonzales/Dutchtown, La.), Jackson Wedgeworth (Fr., West Jones/Soso), Wyatt Adkison (So., East Central/Hurley) and Jonathon Newman (So., North Pike/Summit).
The tough competition is nothing new for Gulf Coast. The Bulldogs' have faced big challenge through their recent region championship streak, which stands at nine.
"It's not any different," Snell said. "The difference with me is my team is deeper than it's ever been. I'm leaving two kids at home that can really play."
Troxler has been playing strong golf, finishing first and second in his last two tournaments. He's leading a group that has been building for the postseason.
"I think the guys are taking it serious," Snell said. "They're focusing on what they need to be doing, not putting any more pressure on themselves."
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