Cartersville, the only local school to qualify for the state tournament a season ago, may have to settle for one qualifier this season as opposed to the two it sent in 2010.
"Boys-wise, we're still a young team. I don't know how we'll finish out. Dalton, Murray [County] and Heritage[-Catoosa] will probably be the teams [with the best chance] to win," Cartersville coach Tim Graves acknowledged.
"I don't expect us to tear up golf courses," Graves continued. "I just expect us to compete. ... It's really just a rebuilding year."
Cartersville's boys finished 10th in state while the girls placed ninth last year.
The Lady Purple Hurricanes are among the teams in the Region 7-AAA field capable of finishing in the top two and qualifying for state.
"I think they got a good shot at winning the region this year. ... They know what they need to do," Graves said of the Lady Canes, who are led by Katie Knight and Julia Sheppard. "There are four or five teams that have a real good chance of winning."
Other contenders include teams like Dalton and Southeast Whitfield.
Cartersville's girls enter Tuesday's region tournament with momentum after finishing second -- behind host Northwest Whitfield -- at the Lady Bruin Invitational. Lady Canes Sheppard and Ali Parker were named to the all-tournament team, which selects the players with the six lowest scores. Sheppard carded the second-lowest score while Parker had the sixth-lowest.
The Canes have not been as fortunate to place that high this year.
"The guys haven't finished really high in most of their tournaments, but I expected that," Graves said. "I want them to understand the competition part of it. ... Maybe the preparation [this season] ... will help them out [over the next few years]."
The Cartersville coach said he has seen improvement from his golfers, which include Chris Haynes, Nick Haynes, Joe Sallette, Drew Friedrich, Stephen Hopkins and Andrew Irby.
"Chris Haynes, he's still just a sophomore. He's probably turned in our best scores most of the time," Graves added. "Andrew Irby is my only junior. ... He's probably improved just as much as Nick Haynes has."
Graves noted that his golfers that play tournaments through the Atlanta Junior Golf Association during the summer got to see some different competition throughout the season.
They can get better, he said, by playing year-round. "You gotta keep playing [golf] to where you get consistent at it."
The Region 7-AAA boys tournament begins today at Windstone Golf Club in Ringgold. The Region 7-AAA girls tournament is scheduled for Tuesday at Indian Trace Golf Course in Chatsworth.
Elsewhere, Cass and Woodland play in the Region 7-AAAA boys tournament today at Crystal Falls Golf Club and in the Region 7-AAAA girls tournament Tuesday at Nobb North Golf Course in Cohutta.
Adairsville plays in the Region 7-AA girls tournament today at Cherokee Golf Club in Cedartown and in the Region 7-AA boys tournament Tuesday at Stonebridge Country Club in Rome.