Not to be outdone, the Mid-State League – which will send several of its members to the central district for sectional action – captured the D-II sectional title as Circleville held off SVC champion Unioto for a one-stroke victory Tuesday. Logan Elm, also of the MSL, finished just three strokes back in third place. Rounding out the top five and advancing to Cooks Creek was fourth-place finisher Zane Trace (340), and fifth place Williamsport Westfall, the SVC runner-up. The Mustangs shot a 341 which was just enough to hold off Thornville Sheridan by one stroke.
“Circleville and Logan Elm both played well today (Tuesday),” Unioto head coach Dan Drummond said. “Overall, I feel good about how we played today. I feel we dropped a few shots here and there, but I think every coach feels that way after every round. Hopefully next week at the districts we can play just a little bit better and give ourselves an opportunity to compete for a chance to go a step further.”
Logan Elm’s Josh Cordell won the individual title with a round of 73. Unioto’s Tyler Hammond overcame a four-over after three start, to still card a 74. Hammond is the SVC player of the year and goes to Cooks Creek next week as the defending district champion. For the sectional champs, the senior duo of Sebastian Davis and Jeff Rush both carded rounds of 76.
The top five individuals not on a qualifying team also advanced and those players included Craig Jagers of River Valley (77), Andrew Gaskins and Colton Barnhart of Sheridan (78 and 79, respectively) and Steven Stewart of Meigs (80). Three players finished tied at 83 and headed to extra holes to decide the fifth and final individual slot, which Washington Court House’s Conner Johnson earned by defeating teammate Justin Moore and Josh Frank of Fairfield Union.
Also on Tuesday, the D-II south sectional teed it up at Shawnee State. Portsmouth West shot an impressive 308 which proved to be two shots better than West Union. Wheelersburg captured third place with a 326, which was just one stroke better than Ironton. Piketon’s 344 was good enough to hold off Lucasville Valley’s 345 for the fifth and final team slot.
Even with Valley’s team misfortune, it did have two individuals qualify for the districts. Teammates Matt Evans and Zach Bukiewicz shot rounds of 81 and 86, respectively, to join Portsmouth golfer Stewart Doll (75) and Waverly teammates Van Levier (82) and Shane Rouse (84) as individual qualifiers for district.
The following day the same two golf courses played host to the D-III sectionals. In the north at Jaycees, the Scioto Valley Conference continued its run of success. After watching the league go four-for-four on Tuesday in terms of getting teams to the districts, the conference’s other four teams all put its tees in the ground hoping to make a clean sweep. By days end, three more SVC schools qualified for the district tournament led by Huntington’s 330 which was 27 shots better than Tri Valley Conference member Belpre. SVC members Adena and Southeastern each carded team totals of 359 to earn the final two qualifying positions.
“I think it is great!” said Drummond when asked what he thought about getting seven of the league’s eight schools out to the districts. “I do not remember the league ever getting that many, and I think that it says a lot for the level of golf in the SVC.”
Huntington’s dominate round was led by Craig Magill. Magill overcame a triple-bogey on the 15th hole – where he short-sided himself in the green-side rough behind the tough, two-tiered green – to still card a four-over 76 to capture the individual title. The Huntington junior knocked down a 20-foot putt for birdie on the par-five second hole and then again made a birdie four on the par-five eleventh hole. After the hiccup at 15, he regrouped to bogey the difficult sixteenth hole before paring 17 and 18 to finish the low round of the day.
“I feel like if we continue to play well like we did today we have a shot to compete in the districts next week,” Magill said. “I do not really know much about the course down at Marietta, but we get a chance to play it this weekend and hopefully get prepared to go out and play well on Tuesday.”
Perhaps the biggest surprise in the SVC’s dominate week was the play of Frankfort Adena. The Warriors finished seventh in this year’s conference standings, but first-year coach Jason Smith said this year’s team has continued to improve at a rapid pace.
“To get out of the sectionals is a big step for our program,” Smith said. “Throughout the year we have constantly been finishing in the bottom half of the SVC matches, but this just shows you how tough our league was this season.
“Coming into today, we did not really know what to expect. We knew some of our individuals may have a shot to get out, but as a team we just did not know what the scores would be like in those top four spots. After nine holes we were just a couple shots back and I told each player at the turn that we had a chance to qualify. I credit the kids because they continued to do what they were doing and in the end they posted a good enough score to get the job done.”
Joining the north qualifiers will be a quartet of teams from the south. Portsmouth Clay’s Ryan Hines scorched Shawnee State Park for a round of 70 to lead his team to a total of 311 to capture the title. The Panthers will be joined by Chesapeake (328), South Webster (334) and Leesburg Fairfield (350) in next week’s district tournament.
D-III will compete at Marietta Country Club on Tuesday, October 2nd and D-II will head to Cooks Creek Golf Course the following day.