WU’s McCarty repeats as individual champion –
Story and photo by Mark Carpenter –
Dynasty=West Union Dragons Boys Golf. For the 14th time in 15 seasons, Coach Carl Schneider and his West Union Dragons hold the crown as Southern Hills Athletic Conference Tournament Champions. With Round four played on Sept. 21 at the Snow Hill Country Club in New Vienna, the Dragons held on to their lead and ended up with a 10-stroke margin over second place North Adams. Ironically, the two teams split the four rounds, with West Union winning Round One, North Adams taking Round Two, West Union capturing Round Three, and North Adams topping the field in Round four, but the overall margins between the two schools totaled out in West Union’s favor.
“We did not play well today on a difficult course,” Coach Schneider said of the final nine holes at Snow Hill. “North Adams played a great tournament and it will be fun going into sectional and district play with them.”
In this year’s tourney, the Green Devils presented one of the biggest challenges that the Dragons had seen in recent years, and in the fourth round, actually topped West Union by three strokes, shooting a team total of 172, while the Dragons were at 175, but it was not enough to overcome the deficit present after the first three rounds.
A senior year of high school should certainly be one of making memories and West Union senior Elijah McCarty provided one for his scrapbook with a wire to wire individual title in the 2017 SHAC Tournament. McCarty was the low-score medalist in all four rounds, finishing off with a two-over 37 at Snow Hill last Thursday. McCarty’s total for four rounds was 147, leaving him 11 strokes ahead of second place Noah Lung of North Adams, who shot 158.
“Elijah was just real solid again,” said Coach Schneider. “Leading the tournament from start to finish is quite an accomplishment.”
Backing up McCarty with the Dragons were three teammates whose play earned them a spot on the All-Conference Team, given to the tournament’s top 15 golfers. Coming in seventh in the final individual standings was West Union’s Jacob Pell, who fired a 175 for the tourney, slipping a bit with a 49 in the final round. Andrew Sapp placed eighth with a four-round total of 176, including a 44 at Snow Hill. Finally, the Dragons’ Eli Fuller earned an All-Conference spot with a total of 177, 45 for the last nine holes.
“Andrew Sapp had a real nice tournament and was a key factor in our win,” added Schneider. “He has worked extremely hard in the off season and it paid off-our 14th title in the past 15 years.”
Second place North Adams was led by Noah Lung, with two more Green Devils earning All-Conference plaudits. Bryant Lung shot 166 and tied for fourth in the tourney (40 in the final round), while teammate Colt Shumaker rebounded from a rough first round at Hilltop to shoot 43 on the final nine and 173 for the tourney, good for sixth overall.
Proving that the best golf in the SHAC is played in Adams County was the third place team spot, occupied by the Manchester Greyhounds. The Hounds were led by Logan Hayslip, who placed third overall in the event, firing a 40 in the final round and a four-day total of 163. Teammate Dylan Colvin was fifth overall with a tourney stroke score of 168, 43 on the final day. The Hounds team total of 703 easily outdistanced fourth place Whiteoak.
“Manchester is a much improved team and have their players returning next year along with a couple of eighth graders that will make them very strong in the future,” said Schneider.
One more golfer from the county made the All-SHAC squad in Peebles senior Bostin Robinson, who tied for fourth overall and shot an impressive 38 in the final round and 166 overall.
The attention of the golfers now turns to the sectional tournament, set to begin on Wednesday, Sept. 27 at the Portsmouth Elks Course. Both West Union and North Adams are coming off state tournament appearances in 2016 and will be battling again for that coveted spot with district play scheduled for Oct. 3.
SHAC Final Team Standings: West Union 667, North Adams 677, Manchester 703, Whiteoak 771, Ripley 790, Lynchburg 796, Fairfield 811, Eastern Brown 843
SHAC All-Conference Team: E. McCarty, West Union; N. Lung, North Adams; L. Hayslip, Manchester; B. Lung, North Adams; B. Robinson, Peebles; D. Colvin, Manchester; C. Shumaker, North Adams; J. Pell, West Union; A. Sapp, West Union; E. Fuller, West Union; Z. Harless, Whiteoak; T. Stevens, Lynchburg; B. Dunn, Ripley; P. Fyffe, Ripley; R. Donley, Fairfield.