The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

High School Sports

October 9, 2013

So close to the top

Shady Spring, Westside place third in team standings; Oak Hill’s Buchanan finishes fourth as individual at state golf tournament

WHEELING — Shady Spring golfers Drew Green and Landon Perry couldn’t mask the disappointment.

The duo, along with teammate Ryan Albaugh, seniors all, each finished with matching 78s Tuesday in the final round of the state golf tournament at the Robert Trent Jones course at Oglebay Park.

The Tigers’ two-day total of 478 just wasn’t enough to get the senior-laden squad the title.

It wasn’t enough to overcome Wheeling Park (472), or Cabell Midland (478) for second place, leaving only a litany of what-if scenarios. That, and disappointment.

“I feel like I let the school down, let the community down,” Perry said, shaking his head. “It was our last shot, and we wanted to do this for not just ourselves, but the school. And we didn’t get the job done.”

“I really thought we could do it,” said Green. “If we had only done this the first day, we would have won the championship. It’s a little bit hard to swallow right now. It hurts.”

Coach Brad Bostic was also finding it hard to swallow.

“It’s hard to beat a team on its home course,” Bostic said. “Yeah, it’s disappointing. Our kids played great, we just didn’t do enough. We play like that the first day and we win this thing by six or seven shots.”

Still, it was a fine finish for the Tigers, and Green, who was named to the all-tournament team after placing sixth individually.

Perry, who is hoping to walk-on at Kansas or Ole Miss, finished one shot off the all-state squad.

“I’m really proud of Drew; he had a great year,” Perry said. “He’s a great player. I had a terrible start up here, and it probably cost us a chance to win the title.”

Obviously, that isn’t the case.

“Landon played really well; Drew had a great two days,” Bostic said. “We just couldn’t get over the hump and finish. I feel terrible for these kids. They’re great kids, great golfers. But it was nobody’s fault.”

Park’s Cole Hand repeated as the Class AAA medalist after a 73 Wednesday.

He was chased all day by Tyler Hillyer of Princeton and Oak Hill’s Craig Buchanan. The local duo finished third and fourth. Both qualified as individuals.

Hillyer’s 74 was the low round of the day by an individual qualifier. Buchanan had a 75.

“I’m really happy with the way I played today,” Buchanan said. “I think playing with a guy like Cole Hand really helped my game. I wasn’t playing with a real good group the first day. To play with the defending state champion really helped my approach. I was trying to match him shot for shot.”

The Oak Hill senior had a 79 the first day.

Westside has shown improvement each year it has qualified for the state tournament, placing fifth in 2011, fourth in 2012 and third this year.

“I was impressed with our team,” coach Tim Spolarich said. “It’s the highest we’ve finished. The way Roane County (which won the title by 38 shots over runner-up Poca) played, we were hoping to finish second. We just missed (the Renegades were one shot behind Poca, and were actually announced as the runner-up at the post-tournament awards ceremony).

“We’ve gone through a lot of adversity that people don’t even know about. To finish third was a great showing for these kids.”

Westside returns three of its top four players next season and will add Colin Bowles, one of the top young golfers in the state.

Westside’s county rival, Wyoming East, finished seventh in the tournament.

“We had a great season,” Spolarich said. “Steve Davis and Joe Sanders were great additions to the coaching staff, and Tony Bowles has really helped at Clear Fork. I think we can come up here the next few years and be a real contender.”

James Monroe’s Ike Judy finished seventh overall to earn all-state honors in Class AA.

Greenbrier West finished fifth in Class A, led by Chandler Fitzwater’s two-day total of 172.

Richwood was seventh, led by Mason Mullens’ 190.

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