Central Wins 4th Straight OVAC Title
Harrison earns medalist honors
WHEELING — Another year, another trophy for Wheeling Central. The Maroon Knights have solidified itself as a powerhouse in golf as they captured the OVAC Class 1A/2A championship on an overcast Tuesday at Crispin Golf Course at Oglebay Park.
Wheeling Central totaled 310 points, 33 more than runner-up Bridgeport (343). Steubenville Catholic placed third with 345 points.
“They played pretty well,” Maroon Knights coach Jim Mortakis said. “My (No.) 3 and 4 kids were right there close to making All-OVAC. They work hard, they practice and they spend a lot of time at the golf course. They have some specific goals and this was just one of them. Hopefully, they’re just going to continue to play better and do well.
“It’s just a singular goal that we have during the year to win the OVAC. To do that, it worked out good. To win convincingly like we did, too, makes you feel pretty good about where your program is and where we’re going.”
There were a lot of accomplishments for Wheeling Central. It was the fourth straight year it took home the hardware and it also had a clean sweep in the medalist category.
Derrick Harrison turned in a 73 for the low round of the day while J.C. Maxwell shot a solid 76, good enough for runner-up medalist.
Also scoring for the Maroon Knights were Zach Mazur (80) and Matt Mazur (81).
“Everything was going as planned,” Harrison said. “Driver was working really well. I was hitting my irons really well and putting was as good as its going to be on these greens (Tuesday).”
Harrison was also crowned medalist last year when the Maroon Knights won the 3A tournament. As the tournament played the front nine of the Crispin course twice, the senior shot even-par 36 the second time around where he birdied twice.
“I played here (Monday) and I knew the greens were going to be slow, but they improved,” Harrison said. “They were faster, but they were still going to be slow. You could pretty much attack any pin you wanted to because you knew the ball was going to stop, and that’s pretty much what I did.”
Winning seems to be in Harrison’s blood. While he has won the medalist for the second straight year, he also has a great team accomplishment. Harrison has always been on the winning end when it comes to the OVAC Tournament all four years he has played.
“We had great leadership my first two years and now having to come in as captain and lead us the past two years, trying to win, it feels good that we won all four years I’ve been here,” Harrison said.
Maxwell, a sophomore, was just as impressive. After shooting 39, on his first go-around, he turned made up some ground and turned in a 37.
“I knew it was going to be wet, so I just wanted to keep it in the fairway,” Maxwell said. “I know I could attack pins. I knew I could get it on, make a couple of putts and be good.”
With another OVAC championship in the bag, it will definitely give the Maroon Knights a boost for later in the season. With regionals right around the corner, Mortakis plans to see more accomplishments.
“I expect J.C. and Derrick to compete for the medalist honors,” Mortakis said about regionals. “We obviously want to win or at a minimum come in second because we advance to the state tournament. That’s our ultimate goal is to get to the state tournament. My goal ultimately would be to win. We’ll take that as it comes.”
Leading the way for Bridgeport was Kevin Herink as he turned in a solid 77 after shooting an even-par on the first nine holes. Cooper Dulesky tallied an 85 for the Bulldogs while Angela Sommer shot 88. Jason Sommer rounded out the Bridgeport scoring with a 93.
Herink also secured All-OVAC honors.
“We got three seniors playing,” Bridgeport coach Jeff Herink said. “They all stepped up. They had better rounds of the year and as a whole team, they each golfed pretty steady, gave us a score to come in runner-up, which we are more than happy with.”
The Crusaders compiled a third place finish. Cole Tegano and Zach Campbell both shot an impressive 78 to lead the way for the Crusaders and also received All-OVAC.