WHEELING - With the OVAC golf tournament a week away, Linsly, Wheeling Central and Bishop Donahue took advantage of a fall-like day Tuesday to get together for a triangular at Oglebay's Crispin Course.
While all three will face formidable foes in the conference event, the Maroon Knights and Bishops are busy honing the top of their respective lineups for the regional tournament.
David Coram fired a one-under 35 while Jordan Patrick finished even par as Coach Mark Zavatsky's Cadets carded a 152 to defeat both the Maroon Knights (160) and Bishops (189).
However, while daily events and the conference tournament are different, taking the scores of the top four golfers on each team, the regional lets teams play four, but only score three. Taking the threesomes for each school Tuesday things were a little tighter with Linsly's Coram, Patrick and Casey O'Korn shooting 111; Central's Justin Leonard (35), Thomas Stanley (36) and Jonathan Haley (41) a 112 and Donahue's Stephen Gretchen (38), Gabe Mickey (42) and Eric Myers (44) coming in at 124.
Of course, the Cadets (9-5), who are not a member of the WVSSAC, do not participate in the regional and used the OVAC tournament as their state event.
"We are doing our best to get ready for the OVAC tournament," Zavatsky said. "It is a very busy week for us with something going on every day, and I am just hoping that we are able to peak at the right time. We are steadily progressing, but we know that Steubenville Central is going to be awfully hard to beat.
"Last week we played at Williams Country Club and shot real well (164), but still finished fourth against some very good teams in Weirton Madonna, Burgettstown and Steubenville Central. We do have a young man that joined the team late and has been playing very well, he didn't play (Tuesday), but I expect to have him in the lineup the rest of the week."
Central coach Ed Cihy took over the Knights' program late in the summer and not only had to put together a schedule, but also a team. Luckily he found three seniors leaders who have carried the unit in Stanley, Leonard and Haley.
"Our seniors have been huge for us," Cihy said. "It has had to be a group effort both with the coaches and the players with the late start that we got, but even though the kids had trouble finding anything out over most of the summer we have played well and are currently 18-8.
"These players have really responded. I can tell you that golf is not really my thing, but I have been a coach for a lot of years and I have brought the coaching aspect into this and have been able to get the players to do what they need to do."
For Bob Fahey and his Bishops, depth has been the biggest problem, even though Donahue is a respectable 13-19 on the campaign.
"Our top three have played well and the other two are coming along. Gretchen is our lead man and is averaging a 38, while Gabe Mickey has really came on, starting the season in the high 40s and now playing in the lower end. Eric Myers has also been very consistent for us.
"Depth has been the biggest issue and we are forced to use big scores on the lower end of our lineup, but still are finishing around 180. But I think what is really going to help us is the fact that they only take three scores in the regional. If we can go out and play some good rounds, who knows what might happen?"