At a small school like Belpre High, every body counts.
Two-sport athletes are not uncommon. Not this fall, anyway.
Golf coach Scott Miller received a pleasant surprise on the first day of practice earlier this week at Oxbow Golf and Country Club when seniors Bryce Pittenger, Dakota Hoffman and Trent Stanley expressed their intention to join the program. The same trio are members of the Golden Eagles' soccer team.
Three years have passed since Hoffman played as the No. 2 man for Miller. Pittenger also is a previous letterwinner in golf.
"The only coaxing I did was mentioning something to Bryce's mother at Kentucky Fried Chicken," Miller said. "With Dakota, he and (Belpre boys basketball coach Jordan Thornhill) have played quite of bit of golf together at Oxbow during the summer. Dakota did pretty good and I think that helped get him back."
Belpre already features a stock of talent with the return of four members (Brennen Ferrell, Hayden Plummer, Sam Petty and Alex Perry) from last year's district qualifier. The addition of the three seniors gives the Golden Eagles that much more reason to believe they can return to the state tournament for the first time in five years.
"Some of the kids are saying that's a lot of pressure, but I say that's good," Miller said.
- Impressive stat I: The odometer associated with the vehicle taking the Parkersburg South golfers on road trips will take a beating this season. Before school even begins for Wood County students on Aug. 23, the Patriots will have seven travel days to their credit for 18-hole tournaments.
Not including the state tournament, coach Sherry Morris figures her program will log 1,800 out-of-county miles.
- Impressive stat II: Williamstown golf coach Russ Schramm definitely likes to crunch numbers. He has documented every win since he took over eight years ago.
Entering this season, the Yellowjackets have accumulated 673 wins under coach Schramm with 299 losses and seven ties. His program has placed third at the Class A state tournament four times.
Six all-state golfers, including Austin Root and Alex Roach last year, have played for Schramm.
- Just in the nick of time: When July rolled around, Parkersburg coach Don Snider knew there was a crucial piece missing from the schedule. In his six previous seasons at the helm, the Big Reds had never played a round at Preston Country Club, which just happens to serve as the host site for their Class AAA regional.
With less than a week before the regular season was set to begin, Snider did his squad a huge favor by reserving Tuesday, Aug. 28, as the day when his team will make the trip to Kingwood, W.Va., for a dual match.
- Still going strong: At 71 years of age, Parkersburg Catholic golf coach Dick Wildt feels he has plenty left in the tank. Wildt resurfaced with the Crusaders this season after stepping down following the school's Class A state title in 2005.
"I didn't foresee this happening, but I didn't want to see the program die," Wildt said.
Contact Kerry Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org