WEST PORTSMOUTH — Special athletes who put in the work in multiple sports certainly deserve a hand for their due diligence.
As a multi-sport athlete, Clay’s Caleb Cline is one of those hard workers who has earned the respect of teammates, coaches and peers throughout his career. The senior, who was part of a regional final basketball club last season and is the No. 1 golfer on the Panthers’ unit in 2017, shot an 86 to claim a tie for 11th place in the individual standings and obtain one of the five district-advancing individual slots in a Division III Sectional Golf Tournament that was held at Shawnee State Golf Course on Wednesday afternoon in West Portsmouth.
For Clay head coach Kyle Keaton, the effort from Cline was thrilling, but certainly not a surprising one to see considering what the youngster has accomplished.
“Caleb’s stepped a lot here in these last two or three weeks,” Clay head coach Kyle Keaton said. “His scores keep going down, and it’s been a good run for him overall. It’s great that he is getting to start his last year of high school competition on a high note. He’s good on the basketball court, too. I’ve watched him play while (the Clay basketball unit) made their run to the Elite Eight. He’s a good athlete all the way around.”
Cline, who led not only Clay’s efforts, but all of Scioto County with his 86, was consistent throughout the day as the senior shot a 42 on the front nine and a 44 on the back half of the course in his district-advancing effort.
“Caleb’s reading the greens well, he’s putting pretty good right now, and he’s driving the ball far,” Keaton said. “He’s really hitting the ball good right now.”
In addition to Cline’s efforts, the entire Clay unit continued to show consistency across the board, as Tyler Hobbs’ 99, Tyler Phillips’ 104, Hunter Armstrong’s 108, and Teddy McCall’s 110 rounded out another consistent effort for the Panthers on the day.
“We’ve definitely been pretty consistent all year long,” Keaton said. “Nobody wanted to give up, and everybody did the best that they could do. That’s all that I can ask out of them. We’re going to miss Caleb, Hunter Armstrong, and Teddy McCall, but also, we’ve got three good guys coming back in the Tylers (Hobbs and Phillips) and Chase Hudson. They’re going to be strong for us next year.”
While Cline led the way from an individual standpoint, it was the Bobcats of Green who made the most impressive dent of the Scioto County contingent on Wednesday evening as Levi Singleton, Nathan Weigand, Andrew Ramey, and Mason Barber all collected scores under 100 on the day as Green missed qualifying for the district tournament by just 20 strokes.
The Bobcats, who had the youngest unit in the entire field outside of Peebles, who had three freshmen and a senior in its scoring four, were led by Levi Singleton, who put together an impressive 41 on the front nine and added a 51 on the back nine for his team-leading 92. Weigand’s consistency — 46 on the front and 48 on the back — allowed the sophomore to obtain a 94, while Ramey’s 98 and Barber’s 99 rounded out the scoring.
All four golfers, along with non-scorer Garrett Daniels — who shot a 114 on the day — return for a golf that will likely contend for a district berth in 2018.
Notre Dame’s Jared Redoutey (93), South Webster’s Dylan Bond and Jacob Witter (97 and 98, respectively) and Valley’s Logan Bloomfield (103) were among the leaders for the remaining Scioto County clubs. Redoutey missed forcing a three-hole playoff for the fifth and final individual slot by two strokes, while Singleton and Weigand came within one and three strokes, respectively, of the same feat.
As far as the Pike County schools were concerned, Western’s Broc Jordan and Elias Montgomery proved to be outstanding throughout the day as the pair led the Indians by obtaining scores of 76 and 77 to allow Western to advance to the sectionals with a 362 — 18 strokes behind third-place Coal Grove and one stroke ahead of fifth-place Mowrystown Whiteoak. Eastern was led by Joshua Haislop’s 87 — another district qualifying round — as the Eagles grabbed a 381 thanks to Haislop and the consistent play of Jacob Hoover, Andrew Cochenour, and Cody Weaver (who shot a 97, 98, and 99, respectively) to put Eastern in seventh place in the finishing order.
Overall, North Adams’ 320 and West Union’s 328 led the field, with the Green Devils’ Noah Lung and Bryant Lung and the Dragons’ Elijah McCarty sweeping the top three individual positions with their 72 and 75s, respectively.
With the sectional tournament in the books, Cline will advance to the OHSAA Division III Southeast District Tournament Championship, which will be held at the Elks Country Club in McDermott.