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Golf notes

Cougars enjoy the fruits of their labor

Cougars enjoy the fruits of their labor

September 30, 2005|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

West Virginia schools play a solid schedule during the prep season, and the effort put forth by Jefferson was rewarded Tuesday.

The four-man Cougars team, consisting of seniors Kevin Radlich and Morgan Portrey, junior Brett Carraway and sophomore Justin Stambaugh, qualified for the West Virginia Class AAA state tournament, to be held Oct. 4-5.

Gusty winds and cool temperatures helped balloon scores for the entire field at Locust Hills Golf Club in Charles Town, W.Va., and Jefferson coach Don Hetzel's quartet hung tough enough to card a team total of 345 strokes.

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"We're tickled to death," said Hetzel, who couldn't pinpoint the last time a Jefferson team qualified for the state tournament. "Scores were not surprising. The wind was blowing and was a one- or two-club factor at times. We thought going in if we had four scores in the 80s we would have a chance."

Portrey's team-leading 85 was consistent with his 18-hole rounds throughout the season. Radlich, who owns one of the top nine-hole scoring averages in the area with a 38.6, posted an 86, while Carraway and Stambaugh each had 87.

The state tournament won't be a walk in the park, with the always-tough Speidel Golf Course at Olgebay Park Resort in Wheeling, W.Va., waiting in the wings for the two-day, 36-hole test.

"There aren't any practice rounds allowed, but hopefully the guys will be relaxed and go out and have some fun," said Hetzel.

Speidel measures 6,600 yards from the blue tees and 6,000 from the whites, and the anticipated layout will put the yardage somewhere in the middle over the par-71 course.

- On the Class AA level, Berkeley Springs will send two golfers to the state tournament.

On Monday at Valley View Golf Club in Moorefield, W.Va., Robbie Williams and A.J. Blankenship each qualified to repesent the Indians as individuals. Williams shot an 81; Blankenship posted an 84 and had to go another five holes to survive a three-man playoff. One of the three contestants was eliminated on the first playoff hole and Blankenship went another four holes before a 5-foot putt for par clinched his trip to states.

"It's a wonderful achievement for them," said Berkeley Springs coach Dale McCumbee. "I can't be more proud of them. And that playoff A.J. went through was something else."

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