WHEELING, W.Va. – The high school golf season wrapped up Wednesday at Oglebay Resort in Wheeling.
North Marion and Robert C. Byrd finished their seasons strong, with the Huskies completing 2020 as the state runner-up for the second year in a row.
“I hate finishing second again this year,” North Marion head coach Chancer Hearn said. “I feel like we were very prepared as a group, and it just kind of got away from us a little bit early. I thought we had a great chance this year of finally winning the championship. It’s really sad that we didn’t win.”
The Huskies entered Wednesday just one shot back of Shady Spring, but a rough start to the day put North Marion roughly ten shots back midway through their round. A good finish brought NMHS back to within seven strokes. And that strong finish was led by Michael Harris.
“We feel underachieved, as bad as that sounds. We came up thinking that we were the best team in the tournament, and I still think we are,” said Harris. “We just didn’t play to our potential. It’s just upsetting, but, three years in a row and have three Top 5 finishes, I mean … Not very many people can say that in high school.”
It wasn’t the ending to the season that North Marion had hoped for, but as both Hearn and Harris admitted, back-to-back second-place finishes is nothing to be ashamed of.
Harris also finished second, individually, just six shots back of Shady Spring’s Todd Duncan.
“As an individual, I’m happy,” said Harris. “Like I said, to finish behind Todd, he’s arguably the best player in the state. I would say he’s the best player in the state. So, individually, not a bad week.”
Robert C. Byrd made a roaring comeback Wednesday. The Flying Eagles entered the day in a distant sixth place, and with bounce-back performances by Andrew Bowie, Tyler Stemple and Alex Hawkins, finished in third place as a team – just one shot back of North Marion.
Hawkins finished in a tie for fourth place, individually. Both he and Harris earned All-Tournament and All-State honors.
“It’s been said that you can judge someone’s character based off of how that person handles adversity. If that is the case you can see what type of quality young men that I have coached this year,” said RCB head coach, Basil Lucas via text. “Our team went into day two at the State Tournament in 6th place. All they talked about at the hotel that evening and even on the practice range today was that they came here to try to win it. As you can see that they shot the best round in AA day two improving our score by 27 strokes. We moved from 6th place to third, one stroke out of second place. That’s how you handle adversity and that’s how sports teach young male and female student athletes about life. Im truly proud of their effort.”
In Single-A, Andrew Holbrook entered Wednesday’s action in third place in the state. He finished the year as the sixth-best golfer in his class, and was also part of the Single-A All-Tournament team.
Notre Dame finished sixth in the class as a team, while Webster County finished eighth as a team.
Notre Dame’s Anthony Rogers finished tied for 14th, individually, in the class. South Harrison’s Ethan Titus was three spots back, and Webster County’s Sydney Baird finished in a tie for 19th place, along with Gilmer County’s James Mohr.
Back in Double-A, Grafton’s Chris Miller finished his high school career with the ninth-best two-day score in the class. Miller was emotional leaving the course, and surrounded by family, disappointed in his performance Wednesday, but assuredly happy with a Top 10 finish overall.
North Marion’s Dylan Runner placed tenth, Robert C. Byrd’s Tyler Stemple placed eleventh, and Liberty’s Jacob Gallagher had the thirteenth best score in Double-A.
Buckhannon-Upshur’s whirlwind five days surrounding the state championship comes to a close.
The Bucs, after almost not being able to compete at all in the tournament, finish eighth out of eight teams. Evan Coffman places eighteenth in the class.
The full scoreboard for all three classes can be found by clicking on this link.
This tournament was the first completed high school state tournament in West Virginia since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.