The Halifax County Middle School golf team was in need of a good round on its home course at Green’s Folly Golf Course Tuesday if it was to have any hope of closing the gap on Junior Piedmont District leader Ben Franklin Middle School in the chase for the regular-season district title.

Fortunately for the Lions, they got it.

Halifax County Middle School cut its deficit by five shots in edging Ben Franklin Middle School 179-184 in Tuesday’s win at Green’s Folly Golf Course. Patrick County Middle School finished a distant third with a 201 team total in the nine-hole contest played on the back nine holes of the Green’s Folly Golf Course layout. Martinsville Middle School had players participate, but not enough to count a team score.

“This was a must-win match for us,” said Lions head coach Charles Payne.

“This win keeps us alive in the race to win the district. Our players know that we can beat Franklin County, we just have to go do it on the road.”

Alex Payne led the Lions’ effort with his round of 42. J.D. Cunningham posted a round of 43, Peyton Murray carded a round of 44, and Grady Upchurch’s round of 50 was the last of the four scores that counted toward the Lions’ team total.

Others playing for the Lions that were among the eight designated players from whom scores could have been counted, and their scores included C.J. DeGraw (51), Neyland Wallace (55), Jack Morton (56) and Michael Bradford (56).

Only the four best scores from among eight designated players were counted toward the team total.

Halifax County Middle School players who participated but whose scores were not eligible to be counted toward the team total included Camden Jones (48), Landon Jones (51), Aaron Crutchfield (52), Emilee Elliott (53), Daughtry Reaves (59), Bailee Henderson (59), Sidney Hughes (59) and Taylor Comer (61).

For the Lions, it’s back to work as they prepare for a district match Monday at Franklin County.

“Coach Graham and I saw a few things we need to work on in practice,” Payne said, “and we should be ready for the next match. Monday will be a big district match at Franklin County. The team needs to be focused when we play that match.”

Joe Chandler is the sports editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at

Joe Chandler is the sports editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at