WHEELING - Golf can be a funny game sometimes.
Just 72 hours prior to teeing it up at the OVAC Golf Championship at Oglebay Park's Spiedel Golf Club, the St. Clairsville Red Devils shot a blistering 302 team score to win the Fall Classic.
They came to the conference tournament as the defending champions in Class 4A and one of the favorites for another title.
St. Clairsville’s Adam Jeffries sizes up a putt Tuesday.
Photo by Seth Staskey
Unfortunately, for the Red Devils, golf was a funny game for them on the sun-splashed par 72 Jones Course.
The Red Devils settled for the runner-up plaque after posting a solid score of 316, but East Liverpool, which finished third in the Fall Classic, grabbed its first OVAC title on the links by seven shots.
"We were flat," St. C. coach Rick Oberdick said.
"We had a day last week when we were all hot and then (Tuesday) we were flat, and I don't know why."
The Potters were fueled by three all-conference players, including the tournament's medalist.
Blake Prince captured his second straight OVAC title, shooting an impressive even-par round of 72. Prince set the tone with a solid front nine in which he posted the tournament's only red number at 35.
Isaac Davidson and Joey Cilone were third and fourth overall in the field, posting 76 and 77, respectively.
East Liverpool's highest score that counted was an 82 by Alex Watson.
"Blake put up a good number, got us started and the other guys just fell right in line," Potters' coach Ben Wright said. "The kids really stepped up. We've played four tournaments and this the fourth one we won. We know when we play St. Clairsville that it's pretty much going to be a toss up based on which kids play well that day."
The Red Devils placed just one player on the all-OVAC team. Senior Jared Burghy posted the low round for the Devils with a 78.
A pair of former OVAC medalists - Zach Keylor and Caden Myers - both checked in with rounds of 79. Senior lefty Adam Jeffries, who was medalist with a sub par round last Friday, fired an 80 to round out the scoring for the Devils.
"The strength we've had is when a kid or two are flat, someone steps it up for them," Oberdick said. "We were all flat, so maybe in the sectional, we'll all be hot. You just don't know. I know our kids didn't take anyone lightly; we knew we had to be focused and played well to win. Our kids are resilient, quality golfers and we'll bounce back."
Martins Ferry, which won the 3A title last season, had two players earn a spot on the all-OVAC team.
Chase Stuckey took home the runner-up medalist plaque after posting a 3-over 75. Zac Riggenbach checked in with a 78.
All told, the Riders closed with a team score of 318. Taylor Shane, who was the 3A medalist last season, and Andrew Chlon rounded out the scorers with rounds of 82 and 83, respectively.