HARRISON COUNTY, W.Va. – The high school golf postseason begins this week for team across the state. That includes Big X Conference teams, who gathered at Bel Meadow Golf Course for the annual conference golf tournament.
The tournament had been won by Marion County schools each of the last two years, with the North Marion Huskies winning it last season.
North Marion got off to a good start with the team’s top golfer, Dylan Runner, who shot an 82 on the day. Runner said afterwards that practically everything was working for him.
“I putted really well, and I hit off the tee well today. The approach shots went pretty well today. I messed up on a few of them overall, but overall it was a pretty good day,” Runner said. “The course was very firm, so the ball was rolling out a lot. But, overall, I was pleased with how today went.”
That wasn’t the case for Buckhannon-Upshur’s Evan Coffman, who said he was forced to battle what he deemed to be poor play from the tee box and fairway. A good short game, which he credited to saving his round, was huge.
“Actually tee to green was probably the worst I’ve ever seen this year so far. Shot a 44 on the front, which was pretty terrible, and then I came back with a 39 on the back to kind of save it, and not let it get away from me,” said Coffman. “Glad I putted the ball well. I didn’t have one three-putt today, and I made a couple crucial bogey putts, and kept the momentum going through the round.”
Coffman finished the day one shot off the lead, at 83, to finish second in the conference, individually, on the same day he was voted Big X Golfer of the Year.
“I just got to give it out to my coach, my family for letting me have the time to practice, and achieve what I wanted to do,” Coffman said when asked about his accolade. “I didn’t play baseball this spring. So I played (golf) all spring, all summer. I played in a lot of tournaments. I went to Florida during the winter and just put in a lot of hard work, and I’m glad it paid off.”
Coffman’s efforts on Monday helped lead his team to a Big X title, as well.
The Bucs had three golfers finish up with an 89 or better. BUHS edged out the defending conference champion, Huskies, by seven strokes.
The Bucs shoot 255 as a team, a marked improvement from where the program finished just a few years ago.
“They battled. Like all of the players here today, they battled. And we’re just fortunate to come out on top,” said head coach Jason Westfall. “We finished tenth when they were freshman. So, to come full circle in the four years they’ve been here is very gratifying. It just shows their resiliency, their character.”
Westfall voted the conference’s Coach of the Year for this season.
The Buccaneers take first place in the conference, North Marion (262) and Bridgeport (264) follow in the top three.
Runner was the tournament’s low medalist with an 82, followed by Coffman’s 83. Bridgeport’s Connor Messe and Buckhannon-Upshur’s Isaac Lane both shot an 85 to tie for third.