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Tyler Consolidated finishes seventh in Region I tourney

By Staff | Oct 7, 2009

Cold weather not withstanding, the West Virginia High School Class AA Region I Golf Tournament took place on Sept. 29 at the Parkersburg Country Club, with Tyler Consolidated’s team counted among the eight teams participating. The Silver Knight golf team placed seventh of the eight teams with a combined score of 439. Ritchie County took the team trophy with a score of 331, followed by Pt. Pleasant, 348; Oak Glen, 391; Magnolia, 397; Weir, 399; Ravenswood, 408; Tyler Consolidated; and Roane County with a score of 468.

“In high school golf, the Regional and State Tournaments put the coaches into a unique position where we don’t even get to watch our own teams compete,” said head golf coach at Tyler Consolidated, Joe Griffith.

“While my players were starting on the back nine, I and the other AA coaches were on the front nine monitoring groups of the AAA schools. So during the whole day, other than a few glimpses of my players at various points across the course, I never really know how our players are doing until the match is all over.”

“But I do know that it was a cold and windy day. We had five minutes of sunshine and five minutes of misty rain. The rest of the day was just cloudy and cold and windy.”

“The wind probably affected some of the shots, but the chilling effect that it had on the players added up over the six hours out there on the course.”

“It was tough to get warmed up at the start of the round, and then the cold was draining on the players toward the end of the round. In the group I was keeping score for, I felt that even the one player from Hurricane who shot even par for the 18 holes found that the cold started to affect h is game in the last few holes.”

“So I know that our players were also hampered by the chilly weather.”

“Our first four players competed in a tournament on that course back in August, and they finished with 433. Our score of six shots higher that we had this time probably came mostly from the weather.”

Dalton Wells scored 50/49 for an overall 99 for the day for the Silver Knights on the 36/37, 73 par course at Parkersburg. Tyler Lemasters turned in a score of 57/53 for a total of 110; Ethan Garrison had a 53/58 for an overall 111; Swayde Carpenter scored 59/60 for 119; and Nathan Bolin had 56/63 also for 119 at the tournament.

“Even with the cold, I felt that we should have been a lot closer to breaking 400 than we were,” Griffith said.

“Parkersburg Country Club is a flat course, but it has a lot of holes that are tree-lined, which requires the player to accurately place his drive down the middle. ‘Shorter and down the middle is better than longer and in the trees’, I tell my players when we play down there.”

“But looking at our scores and listening to the players talk afterward, I know that some of them found trouble in the trees more than once or twice.”

“Dalton Wells once again recorded our best round with a 99, three shots worse than in August. I thought that Dalton had a good shot at going on after Regionals, but he needed a 96 to have been in the hunt for the fourth medalist position to go on to the state tournament.”

“The next three players, Tyler Lemasters, Ethan Garrison and Swayde Carpenter, all were either a couple of strokes better or worse than in August,” Griffith continued. “Nathan Bolin had not played the course before, and even after getting up at 4:30 a.m. to take care of farm chores before heading for the match, he hung in there with his score.”

The Regional Tournament brings an end to the ’09 season for the Silver Knights, who amassed a record of 9-67-1. Generally, golfers will work on their game in the off season on their own and individually, and it is expected that these players will do the same, with organized golf being taken up again next year in August.

“It was a good golf season,” said Carpenter. “I improved dramatically from last season, although Regionals didn’t show it. I am really looking forward to getting out and playing in the off season. Next year, our golf team will be competing with some top teams!”

Lemasters said that he did not like the way he played all year.

“Regionals was tough,” Garrison said. “But we did okay. I had a fun season. I improved slightly but the greatest thing was watching our team develop. We should be an excellent team next year.”

Leader of the team, Dalton Wells, said that he has really enjoyed the golf season this year. “I improved since last year a lot, and our team did too. So I am looking forward to next season.”

Said Bolin of the season, “For my second year, I improved greatly. Last year my scores were pretty much all in the 60’s, but the last half of this season, they have been in the low 50’s. That’s a good sign of a good season.”

“After last year, we lost our two seniors to graduation and our junior captain to his family’s moving away,” coach Griffith said. “So the sophomores and freshmen had to take up the slack when they came back this year.”

“We fell short of accomplishing our goal of 30 wins on the season, but there was great improvement over last year from each of the players. Bolin, Levi Kissner and Carpenter all dropped about eight strokes on their average. Lemasters and Chelsa Thomas dropped about five strokes, while Garrison, Brice Kehrer and Wells each improved two or three strokes on their season average. So our final record of 19-67-1, including all of the regular season and tournament matches, is not as good as we had hoped.”

“But assistant coach Jerry Zwick and I are really pleased to see the progress that these players have made.”

“Some of them live 20 or more miles from the golf course and are just now getting their driving licenses. That has certainly affected their practice time on the course up until now. But they have worked hard at their game this year and if they can show the same level of improvement between now and next year, they should post a lot more wins.”