Tyler Knights Golfers Begin 2015 Season
The Tyler Knights Golf Team’s 2015 season is underway with the local linksters participating in two tournaments this past week. The team spent a rainy day at North Bend Golf Course on Thursday, followed by a humid day at Mingo Bottom Golf Course on Friday.
Twelve golfers will comprise this year’s team, including five returning players who lettered last year. Seniors include: Karly Allen, Kellsi Anderson, Adam Cooper, Ty Pratt and Kaleb Tanley.
Coach Joe Griffith is pleased to have these seniors leading the way. “Ty Pratt and Kaley Tanley were two of our best shooters last year, and already I have noticed improvement in Pratt’s game. He is a solid player with a good attitude and has been a part of our program for four years. When he showed up for golf camp back in sixth grade, he was already hitting some very nice shots. Tanley also has a great approach to the game, but he has been busy working during this past week, so he will be joining us as school gets underway. His average last year was right behind that of Pratt, so both of their scores will be an important part of our success this season.”
Other seniors include Adam Cooper, who again will be splitting time with golf and soccer, along with the female duo of Karly Allen and Kellsi Anderson. Griffith noted that, “this will be Cooper’s fourth year, and we are hoping that he will be able to play in a few more matches this year than he did last season.
“This also is Anderson’s fourth year with the team, and her dedication and progress has been especially good to see in the past year or two. Karly Allen is in her second year, and enjoys the game even though she is not yet able to get a lot of her shots to do what she would like them to do. I am very pleased that both of these girls have come out for the team again this year.”
They will be accompanied by two juniors: Levi Hudson and Jarett LeMasters. “Levi will be in his third year, and he has really honed his game since last year. He has been hitting some very nice shots this past week,” commented the coach. LeMasters is in his first year of golf, but has played with family members for a long time. Griffith noted that, “Jarett makes good contact off the tee, and we will be working on accuracy.
He will also be doubling up with soccer, but we look for him to be a contributing factor for the golf team this season, for sure.”
The sophomore golfers will be comprised of Noah Miller and Cheyenne Morris. “Miller is out for his first year of golf, but like LeMasters, he has played a lot of rounds with family members and he hits the ball well,” stated Coach Griffith. “Cheyenne Morris is one of the best female players I have ever had on a team. Even in ninth grade, her game was solid, and from what I have seen so far this season, she is going to be posting some very nice scores!”
Three freshmen golfers have moved up from last year’s first-ever middle school golf team, including Preston Grimes, Haiden Placer and Gage Potoczny. “All three of these boys were starters on last year’s middle school squad,” said Griffith. “They still have many things to work on with their game; but I was happy with their abilities last year, and I look for that to continue to improve throughout this season. Grimes and Placer have been away on family vacation during the first week of the season, but will be back on the course this week. Potoczny played in the scamble the other day, and most of the time he hits the ball well. He will be a contributing factor for the team this season.”
The team began their competitions on August 6, with the LKC Scramble hosted by the Ritchie Rebels on the North Bend Golf Course. Thirteen teams endured an all-day rain to complete only nine holes of play before the tournament was called. Webster took the title with a score of six-under-par, 30, followed by St. Marys with 31. The Tyler A Team, consisting of Pratt, Hudson, Morris and LeMasters, finished one round of the soggy nine-hole course at two over par, 36. That placed them eighth overall in the standings. The Tyler B Team, made up of Anderson, Allen, Miller and Potoczny, struggled to a 13-over-par score, leaving them in 13th position when play was stopped.
“At the scramble, we really worked together to do our best, with everyone pulling their weight in spite of the rain,” commented Cheyenne Morris.
Ty Pratt won Closest to the Pin for his shot on the uphill Hole 5. “We started on Hole 6, so my winning shot was on the last hole we played. My grips were soaking wet after four hours in the rain, but my shot was still good enough to win on the par-3,” said Pratt.
After drying out clubs and gloves and shoes overnight, the team traveled to participate in the Wirt Invitational at Mingo Bottom Golf Course near Elizabeth on Friday, August 7. The four-member team carded a score of 461 to take 10th place in the event. Individual scores for the Knights were: Ty Pratt-107; Cheyenne Morris-109; Noah Miller-120; and Levi Hudson-125. The Roane County team finished first, with a course record of 299. Twin seniors Cole and Cam Moore, along with their sophomore brother, Caleb, shot 67, 73 and 75, respectively, to lead their team to the victory. “They are a most impressive team,” commented Coach Griffith.
The Tyler players were not especially happy with their rounds at Mingo, site of the LKC Tournament coming up at the end of the season. “At Mingo Bottom, I didn’t shoot well, but I am glad we got to play the course, and I aim to do better when we are back there for the LKC,” said Pratt. Miller commented on a particular part of his round, “I need to work on my irons and short game.” Even with their high scores, Hudson remained optimistic with his evaluation of the first week of this season: “Solid start.”
Griffith agreed with Hudson’s comment, “Our players this year aren’t going to be breaking par, but Coach Tucker and I are generally pleased with some of the shots we’ve seen so far. The players have to work on consistency and keeping the ball in the fairway so they don’t find themselves in trouble. But their progress is evident and we hope to see that continue over the next couple of months.”
On Monday, Aug 10, the Tyler Consolidated High School Golf Team went north to the Wheeling Park Golf Course, which none of the players had ever played before. It’s a short course with the final two holes straight up a hill and then back down. Final team scores were: Linsly – 172; Wheeling Central – 194; John Marshall – 214; and Tyler – 225. For the Knights, first-year sophomore Noah Miller led the way with a round 47 on the Par 34 course. Another sophomore, Cheyenne Morris, finished at 56, with freshman Gage Potoczny carding a 60, and seniors Kellsi Anderson and Karly Allen shooting 62 and 65, respectively.
Miller remarked that, “The course is easy, but was in bad shape from the dry weather.”
Morris saw her round in a different light. “I honestly had a hard time at that course, probably due to my unfamiliarity with it.”
The senior girls both enjoyed playing the course, with Anderson saying, “I really enjoyed the Wheeling Park course, but I do wish my score was better.”
Allen compared the course to Sistersville Country Club, stating “For the most part, I like the course, but I had to get used to the difference in that course and our home course, which is in better condition.”
Wednesday, Aug. 12, found the team at the St. Marys Invitational on a beautiful day to play golf. Weirton Madonna won the overall title with a score of 293, including medalist Howie Peterson’s round of two-over-par, 66. Other team scores were: Linsly – 318; Gilmer – 322; Roane – 332; St. Marys – 345; Ravenswood – 346; Williamstown – 352; Ritchie – 373; Ripley – 374; Wirt – 381; Tyler – 383; Parkersburg Catholic – 412 and Clay County – 428. For the Knights, the low man was senior Ty Pratt with a final tally of 84, followed by senior Kaleb Tanley – 90, Cheyenne Morris – 96, junior Levi Hudson – 113 and Kellsi Anderson – 125.
Pratt reflected on his day: “I had some pretty good shots, but on the back nine I got in trouble on two holes and that didn’t help my score.” Tanley said, “It was a little warm during the match, but I still had a lot of fun.” And Morris commented that, “I really enjoyed the day, and I was glad my game was more reliable in this tournament.”
The week’s action moved the Knights’ record on the season to 7-26. Matches this week included traveling to ClairMar to take on River this past Monday; home today against St. Marys, Parkersburg Catholic and Paden City; and away at Riverside tomorrow to face Magnolia, Bishop Donahue, Union Local and Bellaire St. Johns.