PORTSMOUTH — Seven Southern Ohio Conference golf teams started their regular seasons Tuesday morning at the Portsmouth Elks Country Club, kicking off a new fall sports season.
Waverly started its year with a win as the Tigers shot a 173 as a team, followed by Wheelersburg, which shot a 181. Those two teams were followed by West with 186, Minford at 196 and Northwest with a 240.
Valley and Oak Hill also had players representing their schools but did not post team scores.
For Waverly, Conner Heffner led the way with a 37 while Cole Robertson, Michael Goodman and Gage Wheeler chipped in with scores of 40, 48 and 48.
“A win is always a good start. I thought the kids played well,” Waverly coach Jason Ramsey said. “Conner with a 37 and he did a lot of scrambling today. I think he had two bogeys a double and three birdies. Cole with a 40. That’s right where those two should be this season. Gage shot a 48. That should be a little lower but that will come down as the season progresses. Michael is a senior and this is his first year on the golf team. For him to shoot 48 in his first-ever varsity golf match … that’s pretty impressive. He is only going to get better as the season progresses as well. I was very proud of the way they handled themselves when they got in trouble on the golf course today. They did a great job of scrambling.”
Ramsey said this win could be just the start of something special.
“We expect to compete for a league and sectional title this year and to improve every match throughout the season,” he said. “I want them to be able to overcome some of the things golf is going to throw at them and be able to handle it and not get frustrated. We have everyone back from last year and a couple new additions that should be key contributors this season.”
For Wheelersburg, Trevin Mault led the charge. The junior won meet medalist honors, carding a 36. His teammates followed close behind, shooting scores of 41, 45 and 59. Tanner Stevenson earned the 41 while Cooper McKenzie finished with the 45.
“This is a good start. Our goal is to improve each week. We had good scores from our veterans and a good start for our three new players,” Pirates coach Paul Boll said. “Trevin is good because of his dedication to golf. He practices all the time. He will need to keep working in order to stay with [Oak Hill’s Kameron] Maple and [Waverly’s Conner] Heffner.”
As for West, the SOC II’s defending champion, Roark Brynden led the way, shooting a 41. Dustin Sowards helped the Senators with a 44, and Eli Adkins carded a 49.
“It was great to get started this season,” West coach Charlie Cooper said. “As a first year coach, I returned three starters from last year’s team and I have five other guys competing for the other three spots in my starting lineup,” Cooper said. “Everyone struggled some today but I believe we will get stronger as the year moves along and we will be right there competing for the SOC title.”
Other golfers to finish with a score below 50 were Minford’s Dillon Osborne (39) and Matthew Koverman (47), Northwest’s Dalton Dunn (49) and Oak Hill’s Kameron Maple (37).
Most of the teams that competed Tuesday will be back in action Thursday morning in the same place as Portsmouth High School hosts its annual invitational. Tee time is set for a 9 a.m. shotgun start.
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