Teams gearing up as state tourneys approach

September 21, 2007|By TIM KOELBLE

Postseason golf starts in West Virginia on Monday and in Maryland on Tuesday.

Jefferson, Martinsburg, Musselman and Hedgesville tackle the Locust Hills Golf Club in Charles Town in a Class AAA region meet while Berkeley Springs competes in Class AA at Tygart Lake Golf Course in Grafton, W.Va.

Jefferson won the Apple Valley League championship Wednesday and coach Don Hetzel, in his fifth year, thinks the Cougars have a shot at success on Monday.

"If my kids play well, I think we can sneak in there," said Hetzel. "You never know aboout scores from teams (around the state) if they're true or not."


The top two teams qualify for the state tournament and the top four individuals that are not on the qualifying teams also go to state.

"I think Bridgeport might be favored, but I put us in there with Martinsburg," said Hetzel. "This is my best-balanced team in my five years here."

The Cougars are led by senior Justin Stambaugh, who carries a 39.7 average.

"(Justin) is fairly consistent and the best part of his game is his mental approach," said Hetzel. "He keeps on grinding."

In Maryland, Class 1A-2A West competition takes place on Tuesday at Black Rock Golf Course as teams hope to beat the qualifying number of 340 to move to the state tournament.

Walkersville, as has been the case in recent years, is the dominating team in the West among 1A and 2A schools. The Lions have consistently scored in the low-to-mid 140s in a four-player aggregate this year in 9-hole matches.

Smithsburg, based on its team championship in the Antietam Conference tournament at the start of the season, rates as the top Washington County team to challenge for a team spot in the state. The Leopards are led by sophomore Haeun Lee's 39.1 average.

Trojans reload

Pennsylvania postseason play begins Oct. 2, and Chambersburg isn't likely to qualify as a team since it's behind Cumberland Valley in the Mid-Penn Commonwealth race. But the Trojans won't be short of players looking to qualify in the individual pool.

Clayton Rotz is gone from the stable of horses, but coach Mark Yost has plenty of horses who have played well in 2007.

And the Trojans have beaten Cumberland Valley in the last two MPC matches to close the team gap in the standings.

"Nick (Tornetta) and Tyler (Straub) have been two bright spots all year," said Yost. "Calvin (Mentzer) and Ryan (Coccagna) were here last year but weren't regulars and they have progressed and stepped up this year.

"Even though it stinks we can't compete as a team, what is so great is the players competing for some postseason laurels."

Straub and Tornetta are at the top of the Tri-State leaderboard in scoring averages. the four are averaging between 37.5 and 39.9 on a 9-hole basis.

"And we're still waiting for Scott (Keggereis)," said Yost. Keggereis shot a 74 on Thursday. Straub and Coccagna each shot 69 as the Trojans won an MPC match at Carlisle.

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