There will, however, be one team making its triumphant return as well.
With three rounds under 80, West finished second in the sectional with a score of 315, qualifying the Senators for a date at Cook's Creek next week. Joining West will be two teams that are no strangers to districts - Portsmouth and Piketon. The Trojans finished third with a 318 while the Redstreaks claimed the final team spot with a 333.
West Union won the sectional with a 311.
The Senators went to the state tournament two out of the last four years, but last year failed to get out of the sectional, finishing sixth. Not qualifying out of the first round gave the team the motivation to achieve more this season, said West coach Eric Gray.
“It definitely helped us,” he said. “We finished sixth and we would have gotten out of any other sectional. We know this is a very tough sectional and all the teams are good.”
The Senators are also in contention for the SOC II title, which will be decided Thursday.
Leading the way for West during the sectional was Matt Simpson who shot a 75 during the 18-hole round. Andy Bond followed Simpson with a 78 and Noah O'Rourke carded a 79. Charlie Cooper rounded out the day with an 83.
“We knew we were good enough to go last year,” Simpson said. “We just decided that we were going to come out and have fun today and I guess we did alright.”
While West turned in the best team performance from the area squads, Portsmouth's Charlie Doll had the greatest individual round - and not under the greatest circumstances.
Fighting through a bout of mononucleosis, Doll shot a sectional-best 71, tying him with Ironton's Nathan Kerns. Doll contracted mono last month and has still been dealing with some of the effects.
Under direst, Doll bogeyed the second-to-last hole, but came back with a birdie to end the round. Still, the senior said he was feeling weak midway through the tournament.
“I'm just trying to get my strength back right now,” Doll said. “It's slowly getting there. I'm starting to get my swing back right now. I've been hitting a bunch of balls so I can get some repetition in.”
Doll said he should be fully recovered by the time the Trojans head to Cook's Creek.
Along with Doll's round, Stuart Doll shot an 80, Sean Gowdy shot an 83 and Zak Bedard carded an 84. The trip to districts will be the third straight for Portsmouth. The Trojans qualified for the state two years ago, but just missed going as a team in 2005. Portsmouth coach Buck Whitely said the squad will have to be on top of its game if it wants to get back to state.
“We concentrate on doing our part and not worrying about what other teams are doing,” Whitely said. “We know what's ahead (at the district).”
So does Piketon, which will make its fourth straight trip to the districts. Behind Art Robbins' 76, the Redstreaks just qualified, beating out fifth-place Wheelersburg by seven strokes. Though heading to the districts is nothing new for the school, it is for the majority of the team. Piketon lost four of its top six golfers from last year, returning only Robbins and Jake Nutt.
“It probably would have taken an A-game performance for us to get out of here,” Klinker said. “Fortunately for us, this wasn't our A-game, but it was good enough to get us to Cook's Creek on Monday.”
Nutt finished with an 84, followed by Tyler McCaleb with an 85 and Jon Crace with an 88.
Out of the sectional, the top four teams go to the district along with the four top individuals whose teams did not qualify.
The Pirates were left out as a team shooting a 340, but Charles Floyd scored an 80 to qualify for the district as an individual. Allan Gulley shot an 83, Brandon Cline carded an 85 and Andrew Rawlings followed up with a 92.
“We wanted to make the top four teams, but top five isn't bad, either,” said Wheelersburg coach Dave Rucker. “It just came down between the last couple of scores (between Wheelersburg and Piketon) and that's just part of the game.”
Joining Floyd and Kerns as individuals will be another Fighting Tiger, Seth Christian. Ironton finished with a 353.
Waverly finished with a score of 366 led by Shane Rouse's 87. Northwest and Minford came in with scores of 389 and 391, respectively. Kylon Crabtree's 90 led the Mohawks while an 87 by Billy Hogue paced the Falcons.
JEFF TAEPKE can be reached at (740) 353-3101 ext. 242
Division II Sectional Results
Team Results (Top four qualify for districts at Cook's Creek)
West Union 311
South Point 346
Gallia Academy 380
Eastern Meigs 393
Rock Hill 416
Eastern Brown 429
Top Four Individuals (Qualify for districts)
Nathan Kerns, Ironton 71
Seth Christian, Ironton 75
Charles Floyd, Wheelersburg 80
Stewart, Eastern Meigs 82
Local Team Results
West (315) - Simpson 75, Bond 78, O'Rourke 79, Cooper 83.
Portsmouth (318) - C. Doll 71, S. Doll 80, Gowdy 83, Bedard 84.
Piketon (333) - Robbins 76, Nutt 84, McCaleb 85, Crace 88.
Wheelersburg (340) - Floyd 80, Gulley 83, Cline 85, Rawlings 92.
Ironton (353) - Nathan Kerns 71, S. Christian 75, A. Christian 102, Filkins 105.
Waverly (366) - Rouse 87, Gullion 90, Fyffe 93, Boggs 96.
Northwest (389) - Crabtree 90, McCain 95, Eichenlaub 102, Prose 102.
Minford (391) - Hogue 87, Zempter 92, Johnson 101, Stimpert 111.