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September 12, 2023

Huntsville’s Watts heads AGA All-State boys team

By Alabama Golf News Staff
Tyler Watts AGA Junior Player of the Year

The next generation is here

HOOVER – Grissom High School junior Tyler Watts is the Alabama Golf Association’s Junior Boys Player of the Year.

Watts won twice – including the Alabama State Amateur and the Southern Junior Championship to cement his player of the year status.

The boys all-state teams are selected based on the Alabama State Junior Golf Rankings System, which awards points per event based on the number of participants in the event combined with the overall strength of the field. These tournaments must also meet additional requirements to be a sanctioned rankings event. Teams are based on the player performance over the past 12 months from Sept. 1 through Aug. 31.

The teams will be honored with other state players of the year in early 2024.

2023 Alabama Boys All-State Teams

Boys First Team

Tyler Watts, 2026, of Huntsville is a sophomore at Grissom High School. “The Summer of Watts” got off to an electric start when Tyler Watts won the Alabama State Amateur Championship at The Country Club of Mobile by seven shots to become the youngest champion in the 107-year history of the tournament.

The following week, he won the prestigious Southern Junior Championship at Baton Rouge Country Club. He continued to steamroll through the golf season by qualifying for the U.S. Junior Championship and making the Round of 32 bfore losing to the eventual champion.

He also won the AJGA Keith Mitchell Junior, and earned a T6 finish at the Western Junior Championship. Tyler Watts is the No. 1 ranked junior in Alabama and the 2023 Alabama Golf Association Junior Boys Player of the Year.

Andrew Hinson, 2025, of Huntsville is a junior at Randolph School. Andrew won the AJGA Huntsville Junior by firing a final round 64. Andrew’s consistent play included a second-place finish at the Alabama Boys State Junior Championship, a T10 finish at the Southern Junior Championship, a T4 finish at the Future Masters, and a runner-up finish at the Greyson Sigg hosted by the American Junior Golf Association. Hinson is also the current AHSAA 5A State champion.

Jon Ed Steed, 2025, of Enterprise, is a junior at Enterprise High School. He had another successful season that included wins at the Bubba Conlee in Tennessee and the 2022 AJGA Atlanta Classic. Jon Ed qualified for the U.S. Junior Championship and made the Round of 64. Additional highlights included a T3 finish at the AJGA Junior at Canebrake and a top ten finish at the Future Masters in Dothan.

Trip Duke, 2024, of Fairhope is a senior at Fairhope High School. Trip carded multiple wins this season that included the Tommy Moore Memorial and the SJGT Tournament of Champions. He finished third at the Alabama Boys State Junior Championship and fifth at the Alabama State Amateur Championship as well as qualifying for the Junior PGA Championship in Arkansas. In addition to his wins, Trip found success competing on the SJGT and AJGA tours, where he racked up three top-five performances and two top-20 finishes.

Chase Kyes, 2025, of Birmingham is a junior at Spain Park High School. Chase got his summer off to a strong start by winning the AHSAA 7A State Championship with rounds of 69-66, which broke the tournament scoring record. Chase earned a place in the Round of 16 at the U. S. Junior Championship, qualified for the U.S. Amateur Championship, and earned a top-20 finish at the Western Junior. Chase had multiple top-ten performances in several AJGA events this year, including a T4 finish at the AJGA Spot X Hotel Junior.

Boys Second Team

Michael Crocker, 2024, of Mobile is a senior at McGill-Toolen High School. Michael won the Alabama Boys State Junior Championship at Goose Pond Colony Resort with rounds of 66-68-70. He earned a T12 finish at the Alabama State Amateur Championship, T12 finish at the Gator Invitational, and a top fifteen finish at the Tommy Moore Memorial in Louisiana. He is the sixth ranked junior in Alabama and a 2024 University of Alabama commit.

Jackson Skinner, 2025, of Birmingham is a junior at Mountain Brook High School. Jackson accumulated multiple top ten finishes including a T4 finish at the Future Masters, T3 at the AJGA Atlanta Classic, T6 finish at the Gator Invitational, and a tenth-place finish at the Alabama Boys State Junior where he fired a final round of 69. Jackson also had several strong results on the Southeastern Junior Golf Tour and made the cut at the Southern Junior Championship.

Bailey Sutter, 2026, of Vinemont is a sophomore at West Point High School. Bailey had four top-10 finishes, including a T5 at the Alabama Boys State Junior Championship, T7 at the AJGA Panama Junior, and a fourth-place finish at the HV3 Foundation Junior Open. Bailey made the cut at the Southern Junior Championship, finished T12 at the Future Masters, and was a member of the victorious Team Alabama squad at the Southern Junior Cup in Missouri.

Jonathan Peters, 2024, of Homewood is a senior at Homewood High School. Jonathan finished T6 in the AHSAA 6A State Championship and T11 at the Alabama Boys State Junior Championship. He made the cut at the Alabama State Amateur Championship. He found substantial success on the BGA Junior Tour with seven first place finishes.

Mason Crowder, 2024, of Dothan is a senior at Northside Methodist Academy. Mason battled his way back from injury to have T10 finishes at the Alabama Boys State Junior Championship, AJGA Huntsville Junior, and the SJGT St. Simons Island Junior. He had additional quality performances at the Bubba Conlee, Tommy Moore Memorial, and Jones Cup Junior Invitational.

Boys Third Team

Blake Gayles, 2024, of Phenix City is a senior at Glenwood School. Blake finished fourth at the Alabama Boys State Junior Championship by firing a closing round of 66. He competed in and had high finishes in AJGO events, including two first-place finishes, and won the 2023 AISA State Championship at Prattville Country Club in April. Blake also made the cut at both the Future Masters and Bubba Conlee.

Josiah Gilbert, 2023, of Millbrook is a freshman at Auburn University. He finished fourth at both the Alabama State Amateur Championship and the Alabama Open. Josiah was the runner-up and the AHSAA 6A State Championship and was a member of Team Alabama at the Southern Junior Cup in Missouri.

William Stelt, 2023, of Auburn is a freshman at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He had a T5 finish at the Alabama Boys State Junior Championship and a T3 finish at the SJGT’s Southeastern Junior. William also made the cut at the Alabama State Amateur Championship with rounds of 72-68-69-73.

Ward Harris, 2023, of Vestavia Hills is a freshman at UT-Chattanooga. He posted top-15 performances at the Southern Junior Championship, Elite Invitational, and Bobby Chapman Junior. Ward qualified for the U.S. Junior Championship and was also a key contributor on the 7A AHSAA State Championship Team for Vestavia High School.

Jackson Mitchell, 2023, of Athens is a freshman at the University of Alabama. He won the Elite Invitational with rounds of 70-68-66. Jackson earned a top-15 finish at the Alabama Boys State Junior Championship and a runner-up finish at the 2023 AHSAA Boys 7A State Championship. He found additional success on the AJGA tour with a top-ten finish at the Junior at Canebrake.

For more information about the Alabama Golf Association, visit www.alabamagolf.org.

Have a story idea or a news item to report to Alabama Golf News? Email gregg@alabamagolfnews.com

Featured image of Tyler Watts courtesy of the Alabama Golf Association

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