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TCHS Golf Team Hosts Senior Night Match

By Staff | Oct 1, 2020

Isaac Melvin, Senior Captain of the Tyler Consolidated High School Golf Team watches his iron shot fly toward the green during the team’s annual Senior Night held on September 23 at the Sistersville Country Club. The evening featured a match-up of the Knights, Magnolia Blue Eagles, and Paden City Wildcats.

The Tyler Consolidated High School Golf Team played in two events this past week, while the Middle School Golf Team was left without a match because of COVID-19.

The high school team began the week with the Little Kanawha Conference Tournament, held on Monday, September 21, at the Mingo Bottom Golf Course near Elizabeth in Wirt County. There is plenty of golf talent in the LKC, with many of the teams and individuals being represented in the state tournament in recent years.

The weather featured a beautiful fall day, as the Silver Knights placed eighth out of ten full teams, with several other teams not being able to field a complete squad. Ritchie County took first place by two strokes over St. Marys, while Williamstown took third place as they managed a one-stroke advantage over Roane.

Team Scores were: Ritchie – 332; St. Marys – 334; Williamstown – 346; Roane – 347; Braxton – 376; Wahama – 382; Calhoun – 386; TYLER – 394; Webster – 396; and Gilmer – 406. Parkersburg Catholic and Ravenswood each had two players, while host Wirt County only had one player.

Medalist for the tournament was Blake Lewis (Parkersburg Catholic) with an even-par round of 72. Others who were named to the All-LKC Tournament Team included: Brandon Lawhon (St. Marys) – 74; Grant Barnhart (St. Marys) – 76; Dalton Edwards (Ritchie) – 76; Xavier Caruthers (Williamstown) – 78; Anthony Rader (Ritchie) – 80; Emerson Simons (Roane) – 80; Gavin Bosgraf (Williamstown) – 80; Logan Hilkey (Ritchie) – 83; Garrett Simon (Roane) – 83; and Beau Liston (Braxton) – 83.

For the Knights, scores were: Landen Miller – 90; Mason Nichols – 91; Chandler Ash – 104; Isaac Melvin – 109; and Jesse Griffith – 129.

“It was a beautiful day for playing golf, but Mingo Bottom is not a particularly flat course,” said Tyler Coach Joe Griffith. “That often affects our players as they have to adjust to lies that are above or below their feet, or uphill and downhill lies.

“We try to schedule matches on hilly courses so that they get the experience they need to play well on courses that are not flat. Our regional tournament is at Crispin, and that course is nothing but hills!”

Freshman Chandler Ash reflected on his game at LKC: “I know that I have to work on my short game this week. I want to try to improve my score for regionals at Crispin.”

Sophomore Jesse Griffith commented that “the hilly lies at Mingo really affected my score.”

On Wednesday, September 23, the Silver Knights finished their regular season matches at home as they hosted two other local teams for their annual Senior Night.

Team scores were: Magnolia – 186 (won the tie-breaker); TYLER – 186; and Paden City with two players.

Medalist for the match was Alex Parker of Magnolia, with a round of 39 on the Par 34 course.

Individual scores for the Knights were: Landen Miller – 45; Mason Nichols – 45; Isaac Melvin – 47; Chandler Ash – 49; Jesse Griffith – 58; and Samantha Melvin -85. Paden City scores were: Will McGinnis – 45; and Liam Clements – 55.

Two seniors were recognized before the match — Isaac Melvin of Tyler, and Alex Parker of Magnolia.

“Isaac Melvin has been a part of our golf teams since seventh grade,” noted Coach Griffith. “He has always split time between golf and band, but he has done really well with having just two evenings a week devoted to golf.

“He is a solid student, with an impressive class load for his senior year. He is headed to Michigan State to get a degree in Nuclear Engineering, followed by enlisting in the Navy as an officer.

“Coach Tucker and I have been very pleased to work with Isaac over the past six years. I am confident that he will be very successful in whatever career path he chooses.”

Isaac looked back over his golfing career: “Senior night was a great way to finish off my season. I feel that golf has been really good for me mentally.

“Although I do not plan to golf in college, I plan to keep it as a hobby and play golf with friends for the rest of my life.”

Traditionally after the Senior Night match, the three local teams share a covered dish dinner. But with COVID-19, players and families enjoyed a time outdoors with pizza and other food allowing them to socially distance and visit at the same time.

“We are pleased that The Fort worked with us on a nice deal to provide pizza for the teams when we could not do our covered dish meal,” commented Coach Griffith.

This week, the TCHS golfers played Monday in the regional tournament at Crispin Golf Course, Oglebay Park, Wheeling. At the time of submission of this article, it was not certain whether or where the event would occur.

Coach Griffith explained that, “On Saturday evening, the color coding of counties in West Virginia is announced. This past week, Ohio County has been Gold. If they stay Gold for the week of regionals, or if they happen to move to Orange, the regional tournament can still be held at Crispin, although any players from Orange counties would have to bring proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

“However, if Ohio County moves to Red, the regional tournament, or the state tournament scheduled for the Speidel Jones Course October 6-7, cannot be held in that county, nor can players from a Red county participate in the match. It is quite disappointing for golfers from Morgantown that they may not get to play in their regionals or the state tournament.”

But Mason Nichols and his teammates have continued with their practices in preparation for the regional tournament. “It’s sad that our shortened season is almost over. Our last home match was very fun even though I didn’t play all that great,” said Nichols.

“The main skill I will be working on to lower my scores will be chipping from 90 yards and closer. I’m hoping to score in the low 80s at regionals on Monday. I have played a few practice rounds at Crispin, so I know the course well.”

At the time of submission of this article, the regional tournament was still set for the Crispin Course, beginning at 9 a.m. on Monday, September 28. The report from the regional tournament will be in next week’s Star News, or anyone who would like to see match results for both the high school and middle school teams can follow this link to the high school webpage: www.tylerconsolidatedhighschool.org/golf

The middle school golf team did not have any matches this past week. Their match scheduled for Thursday at the Pioneer Golf Center in Marietta was cancelled when the middle school was closed for several days following a positive COVID-19 test by a student. Contact tracing and cleaning at the school have been completed, and most students were to return to class this past Monday. This means that the TCMS Golf Team will be able to finish their season this afternoon as they travel to St. Marys to face Pleasants County Middle and Hamilton.

“I am pleased that the middle school team gets to finish their season,” said Coach David Tucker. “We have some good golfers on the team, and it would have been a shame to just end their season without their final two matches.”