Prep golf: Beaver signs with Elon

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 4, 2012

By Ryan Bisesi
SALISBURY — The Salisbury influence on the Southern Conference golf circuit has been undeniable the past few years.
Troy Beaver is the latest example, as the CCC Player of the Year inked with Elon Tuesday from his home school.
Roy Dixon is a freshman at UNC Greensboro and Alex Nianouris, the Hornets’ current No. 1 player, is headed to Davidson next year. On the female side, Lily Yatawara, also a state champion, signed with Appalachian State where Salisbury alum Lauren Smith is a redshirt junior.
Beaver is the third on Salisbury’s squad to sign to play collegiately. Alex Lee signed with Catawba in November.
“It says a lot about their upbringing,” Salisbury coach Dale Snyder said. “It says a lot less about me and what we’ve done at Salisbury and more about they’ve done and what their parents have done right.”
Beaver struck up a relationship with Elon coach Bill Morningstar last year. Morningstar is a 36-year veteran with Elon and has established a program with national prominence.
“He’s a great guy,” Beaver said. “He’s built a very strong program and had a lot of strong players come through.”
College of Charleston and Western Carolina were in Beaver’s ‘maybe’ pile, but the link with the school and the coaching staff made the Phoenix a perfect fit.
“I felt that it was the best fit for me and my family,” Beaver said.
Beaver sank a 10-foot putt on the final hole of CCC play to win the conference Player of the Year with a 181 season score, edging teammate Clark Alcorn. He’s come a long way since his grandpa introduced him to the game at age 4 with plastic clubs.
Beaver’s low for nine holes in a school match is a 32 he shot his sophomore year at the Warrior. He shot 34 twice, including once in the conference championship match.
Snyder says Beaver, No. 2 in the rotation behind Nianouris, could improve his putting in order to refine his game for the college level.
“You can always improve, so this summer I’ll be working hard to prepare for the fall,” Beaver said.
Seniors Beaver, Alex Nianouris, Alex Lee and Clark Alcorn have won 25 straight CCC matches after finishing second to Ledford in their first league match as freshman. That was back in the spring of 2009, and it’s been all roses since.
“The chances that we’ve had and how well we’ve done consistently have been great,” Beaver said.
The string of conference dominance has seen Salisbury win matches by an average of 11 strokes. The Hornets have won three straight region titles, four straight county titles and four straight CCC titles. Oh, and they have a chance to repeat as state champions. With four seniors back from last year’s team, the Hornets are a safe choice to be there in the end. Eric Edwards and Joseph Rusher are also crucial parts to the Hornet machine.
“Last year helps us with the experience,” Beaver said. “They’re great teammates and great players. But we still have to go do it.”
Lee, Nianouris, Beaver and Clark have been classmates since kindergarten, including a stint at Salisbury Academy.
Salisbury resumes its quest with the 2A Midwest regional match Monday at Cross Creek Country Club in Mount Airy.
“Our goal as teachers and coaches is get these guys to the next level,” Snyder said. “Being champions is great, but this is why we’re here.
This sometimes means more than those rings because he’s doing something to better himself as a person.”