WHEELING - With the OVAC Golf Championships right around the corner, Linsly is hoping to get into a groove after struggling the beginning part of the season.
So forgive Cadets coach Mark Zavatsky for the large smile on his face as the scores came rolling in during Wednesday's quad match against Wheeling Central, River, and Magnolia.
''This was by far the best round we've put together all year,'' Zavatsky said. ''This the first time we've put four of them together. We've been putting some high scores and this is the first time we've had four pretty decent scores in the same match.''
Wheeling Central’s Justin Leonard reaches for his ball during action of a match Wednesday at Oglebay’s Crispin Center Course.
The Cadets carded a 161, two shots better than host Wheeling Central, Magnolia (172), and River (175).
Leading the way for Linsly was junior Garrett Emch with a 38, good for medalist honors with the Maroon Knights' Tom Stanley.
''I started out with a par and toward the middle I started bogeying some holes,'' Emch said. ''The first Par 5 I birdied before finishing up with pars. The last hole I three-putted for par when I had an eagle putt. I should have at least birdied it. But I'm happy with how I played.''
Emch was joined by teammates Marcus Saludes with a 40, Bobby Palmer with a 41, and David Coram with a 42.
Not bad for the first outing of the season at Oglebay's Crispin Course, which plays host to Class 2A Tournament.
''We had a couple practices here in August but this is the first match and we have one more here before the OVAC,'' Zavatsky said. ''(This course plays to our strengths) because it's not super long. They don't have to try to hit the ball 270 yards off the tee. They realize they just have to keep it in play. That can help to eliminate big holes.''
Linsly hasn't won the OVAC championship since 2007 and has started this season off slow with Wednesday's sweep upping the record to 7-8.
If the Cadets are to win, the swing of Emch may play a big part. Emch played last season at Magnolia so imagine his surprise when he showed up to the course to see his old teammates.
What was supposed to be a tri-match turned into a quad when Magnolia coach Dave Tallman asked if his Blue Eagles could join in in an effort to get used to the course in time for the OVACs.
''They kind of gave me a hard time,'' Emch said. ''But it's fun to play against them. We have a lot of good guys here and we're starting to come around.''
Leading the way for his former teammates was Alex Pancake with a 41. Also accounting for the Blue Eagles was Tyler Myers (42), Brandon Fluharty (44), and Bret Brill (45).
Second-place Wheeling Central was paced by Stanley, Matt Schuetz (41), Justin Leonard (42), and Jon Haley (42).
The OVAC Golf Championships tee off Sept. 13 for the Class 2A squads, won last season by River. Coach Bob Cain's squad was led by Austin Curtis with a 42, followed by Ford Cisler and Aaron Goddard each with a 44 and Jason Miller with a 45.
The 3A class, which features Magnolia, will take the Crispin Course on Sept. 15.