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McCumbee leads Indians to PVC championship

September 22, 2006|by TIM KOELBLE

Dale McCumbee has been around most of the fellows on his golf team at Berkeley Springs long enough, he could almost refer to some of them as his sons.

And, like most good sons, they've grown into their abilities under the guidance of McCumbee, in his third year as coach of the Indians.

"Hey, I just fire up the engine and take them where they have to play and get them back home," said McCumbee.

What might have been an afterthought when McCumbee took over came 360 degrees last week, when Berkeley Springs won the Potomac Valley Conference Division I team championship at Cacapon. The Indians posted a team score of 337, senior Robbie Williams won medalist honors with an outstanding 3-over-par 75 and McCumbee was named PVC coach of the year.

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Williams and fellow senior A.J. Blankenship are completing their fourth year of golf and senior Travis McCoy is in his third year.

"It's been a long time (since) winning a championship," said McCumbee, who is also the girls basketball coach and has been in the school system for 20 years. "I'm not sure, but I don't recall being closer than third."

Three and four years ago, Indians golfers were shooting in the 50s. Now, they've gotten their game into the low-40s and at times this year into the high 30s in nine-hole matches.

Williams and Blankenship have posted sub-40 nines and even Ryan Redick, a sophomore, has a 39 to his credit. McCoy has been pushing his scores into the low 40s. Also contributing at times for the Indians have been seniors Adam Parrill and Adam Wilson.

"They have come a long way," said McCumbee. "There is no real junior golf program in this area. They've worked extremely hard on their games."

The Indians, who went after the Apple Valley League crown on Thursday at Stonebridge, will have their sights set on further success when the West Virginia postseason begins. The Class AA Region II meet will be held at Stonewall on Monday.

Chambersburg senior Clayton Rotz, the 2005 Herald-Mail Player of the Year, is off to another fine prep start following an offseason of activity that included winning the Pennsylvania Junior title.

Rotz recently fired a 67 at Eagles Crossing in a Mid-Penn Conference match and also has a 69 to his credit at Waynesboro Country Club.

Smithsburg's Alicia Grier, who ran through the area scene this summer with an abundance of victories, has been on the shelf with a case of mononucleosis. After opening the prep season with a 77 in the Washington County Tournament and then shooting a 36 to open team play, Grier became sick.

Grier is hoping to have the opportunity to round back into form in time for the regionals in order to qualify and challenge for the Maryland girls state championship.

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