Barnesville Wins OVGL Crown

Photo By Rick Thorp. Magnolia’s Trey Blain tees off on a hole during the OVGL Tournament on Thursday.

WHEELING — The final day of summer proved to be a fruitful one for the Barnesville High School golf team.

Buoyed by Davey Wells’ 77, the Shamrocks finished with a score of 319 on Thursday and claimed the Ohio Valley Golf League Championship at Oglebay’s Crispin layout.

“The kids played very well,” said Barnesville head coach Jerry Robinson, whose squad finished the regular season undefeated for the first time in school history — 30-0 overall (16-0 OVGL).

Barnesville finished runner-up to Wheeling Central at last week’s OVAC 3A Tournament on the same course and Robinson challenged his players Thursday to finish the regular season on a high note.

“I felt that last year we weren’t peaking going into the (Ohio) tournament,” he said. “We shot better (Thursday) than we did at OVACs and now we’re ready for the sectional tournament, where the competition is pretty stiff with the likes of Garaway, Strasburg and Hiland.

“We’ll have to take our game up another level to compete against those teams, but I’ve really been encouraged with our team as a whole.”

The sectional tournament takes place Monday in West Lafayette for Division II squads and Wednesday in Cambridge for Division III teams.

The Shamrocks had three players shoot 78 or below — all making the all-tournament squad. In addition to Wells, Payne Johnson and Tyler Willison joined him as both carded 78s. Jim and Nathan Byler each fired 86s.

“This is probably the most well-rounded team I’ve ever coached,” Robinson said. “We have guys that are shooting consistent scores bunched right together.

“It’s a great group of kids and they’ve been outstanding to work with and very coachable.”

Wells finished third overall behind a pair of St. Clairsville players — Jacob Jeffries and Brendan Vucelich.

Jeffries claimed medalist honors by shooting a sizzling 1-over-par 72, while Vucelich, also named winner of the tournament’s Coaches’ Award — had a 76.

”I was just trying to hit the ball and keep advancing the ball,” Jeffries said about what was his best outing of the season. ”I was just trying to go out and shoot a decent round and that’s what happened.”

Paired with, among others, Johnson, Jeffries shot 37 on the front nine, the only competitor to finish in the 30s going out. He birdied one hole, the par-5 4th.

On the back nine, Jeffries shot even-par 35, with another birdie.

”I putted better on the back nine,” he said.

Jeffries and Vucelich helped the Red Devils finish second in the tea mstandings with 345.

Bridgeport was third with 365, followed by Martins Ferry (377), River (384), Union Local (394), Monroe Central (403) and Shadyside (417). Magnolia didn’t post a team score as three players scored, one of which, Trey Blain, made the all-tournament team with a 79.