MINERAL WELLS -The drama at Monday's Little Kanawha Conference Meet lasted all of a millisecond as scores started to trickle in at Woodridge Golf Club.
Behind four all-conference golfers, Roane County flexed its muscle and captured the championship with a team score of 8-over par 292.
Medalist Alston Spears helped the Raiders end Ritchie County's three-year stranglehold by turning in a 1-over 72. Cole Moore and Hunter Simmons reached the clubhouse shortly after Spears' arrival and each posted a 73. Teammate Cam Moore rounded out the scoring with a 76.
Photos by Kerry Patrick
A total of 10 golfers earned all-Little Kanawha Conference honors Monday at Woodridge Golf Club. Pictured in the front row, from left: Carson Weyer (Parkersburg Catholic), Lonnie Ellis (Ravenswood), Mac McCormick (Williamstown) and Robbie Harper (St. Marys). Back row: Alston Spears (Roane County), Cole Moore (Roane County), Hunter Simmons (Roane County), Cam Moore (Roane County) and Coleman Lamp (St. Marys). Not pictured is Sydney Snodgrass (Ritchie County).
"This may be the first LKC title for us, unless you go back when we were Spencer High School - and that goes back to 1993," Roane County coach Jim Kendall said after his squad improved to 151-10-1. "This has just been a wonderful season. I get goosebumps. It's been one of those years."
Williamstown placed a distant second at 315 after receiving a 73 from sophomore Mac McCormick, who was one of 10 individuals named All-LKC. McCormick started off on the right foot after posting a birdie on the first hole then completed his round in the same manner on the 18th hole.
"My driver has been a problem, but I hit it pretty well today," McCormick said. "I only had one bad drive, but other than that it was a pretty good day."
St. Marys, which took third in the team standings at 321, placed two members on the All-LKC squad with junior Robbie Harper (74) and sophomore Coleman Lamp (77). Playing his first season of varsity golf after participating on the Blue Devils' football team for the past two seasons Harper managed to overcome a triple-bogey after hitting into the hazard twice on the 10th hole by recording back-to-back to birdies later in the round.
"Lately, I've been playing pretty well," said Harper, the No. 2 golfer in the St. Marys lineup who is the brother of former Blue Devil standout golfer Alex Seago - an individual state champion in 2008. "My irons have been solid and my chipping has been good, but this is the first day my putting has been on."
Rounding out the All-LKC squad were Ritchie County's Sydney Snodgrass (77), Parkersburg Catholic's Carson Weyer (78) and Ravenswood's Lonnie Ellis (78). Snodgrass turned in the low score for the front nine after posting a 2-under 33.
The best back nine performance belonged to Spears with an even par 36. The junior finished with a total of five birdies for the afternoon.
"I was up and down all the time," Spears said. "I just had one loose shot a hole every now and then. Other than that, I hit the ball about as well as I can hit it."
Freshman Cole Moore was more consistent with his effort after beginning with a birdie on the 18th hole. He reached the green on the 500-yard, par 5 in two shots then missed the 25-foot comebacker by just 6 inches.
"I had a couple of mess ups on the third and fourth holes, but just battled back and made some good pars," Cole Moore said. "The way I started off with those bogeys, I didn't like it. But I made a lot of putts and hit the ball awesome."
Simmons overcame a slow start of going 4-over through the first holes and righted the ship with his short game.
"I wasn't putting real well at first, then birdies started to fall," Simmons said. "My drives went well on my last nine (the front nine) and I was hitting wedges into the green then the putts started falling."