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Pine Forest women’s golf standout balances volleyball, classroom achievements

Jordan Blanton to lead her team in East Regional tournament play


Pine Forest women’s golf coach David May said he was talking to a cohort recently when the subject of Trojan senior golfer Jordan Blanton came up.

“Jordan is playing with a different mantra,” May said. “She’s calm and collected. Her whole game is changing.”

After a string of scores in the 80s, Blanton peaked earlier this week in the All American Conference tournament at Chicora Golf Club in Dunn, turning in a personal best of 77.

Her timing couldn’t be better as Pine Forest heads to the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s East Regional tournament at Emerald Golf Club in New Bern.

If Pine Forest can qualify as a team, or Blanton can shoot a low enough round as an individual, she’ll be headed to the following week’s state 3-A tournament at Pinehurst No. 6.

But golf won’t be the only thing on Blanton’s mind this weekend. She’s also a standout member of the Pine Forest volleyball team, playing the libero position and leading the All American Conference in digs with 187.

If that’s not enough, Blanton is also a star in the classroom, currently ranking No. 1 in the senior class.

“She’s unique,” said May, who added that Blanton is blessed with an amazing family support system that gets her to and from her competitions on time and helps facilitate opportunities to work on her golf game on her own when her hectic schedule keeps her from attending scheduled practices.

“Her parents have been really good about getting her to volleyball when the (golf) match is done,” May said. “She hasn’t missed a game in four years.”

Her father, Christopher Blanton, is a co-owner of King’s Grant Golf Club, where Jordan is a member.

“He’s done a good job of working with her on the weekends,” May said.

Jordan said her biggest challenge among golf, volleyball and academics is managing her time. Her biggest boost comes from her teammates, who give her energy and support.

She admits that if she had to choose between the two sports she plays, she’d lean to volleyball. The libero is the anchor of the defense in volleyball, and Jordan said that takes a lot of energy and leadership.

“I have to watch the hitters,” she said. “I’ve had to learn how to read the hitters and where they are hitting the ball, where their arm is.”

As for golf, during her recent run of success she has been focusing on her short game. She made three birdie putts in her round of 77.

“Putting and chipping really helps me break 80,” she said. 

She has never played either of the courses where Pine Forest will be competing in the regional tournament and possibly the state.

“We’ll focus our game, stick to basics,” she said of the team. “Working hard at practice, bringing the same energy we’ve been bringing.”

In addition to Blanton, May said Pine Forest has the best women’s golf team by far since he’s been at the school.

Alexis Paquin was named the conference player of the year. Blanton, Paquin, Sierra Mei Weeks, Nicole Wetzberger and Kaylen Sykes all finished among the top 10 individuals in the All American Conference in scoring.

“They are pushing each other,” May said. “We’ve got high expectations for making the top three in the regionals so we can get in (the state tournament).”

May knows the field at the state will be tough, including such perennial golf powers as Pinecrest and Cardinal Gibbons.

“These girls have been handling their business,” May said. “They do a lot of work on their own, which makes it easier on me.”

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Fayetteville, Cumberland County, sports, golf, volleyball, Pine Forest