All Raiders earn spot on tourney team
By KERRY PATRICK
Photos by Kerry Patrick
(A total of 10 golfers earned their way onto the All-Little Kanawha Conference golf team during the league meet Monday at Mingo Bottom Golf Club in Elizabeth. Pictured in the front row, from left: Ritchie County’s Riley Allen and Sydney Snodgrass, Williamstown’s Mac McCormick, Wirt County’s Darrin Roberts and Parkersburg Catholic’s Ben Collie. Back row: All from Roane County are Caleb Moore, Cole Moore, Alston Spears, Cam Moore and Hunter Simmons
ELIZABETH - Opposing coaches knew it. Opposing golfers knew it. And that is everyone besides Roane County was playing for second place in the Little Kanawha Conference.
Monday afternoon at Mingo Bottom Golf Club, Roane County lived up to its billing as a state contender after claiming its second consecutive league championship by a margin of 37 strokes over runner-up Ritchie County. The Raiders finished with a team score of 297 and came within one stroke of matching last year's output.
All five Roane County members (Cole Moore, Alston Spears, Cam Moore, Caleb Moore and Hunter Simmons) earned a spot on 10-member all-tournament team.
With less than a week remaining before the start of regionals, the Roane County golfers will look to refine their game and build upon their 161-6 record. Today, they will be tested in a nine-hole match against Parkersburg South and Parkersburg at Parkersburg Country Club.
"This is a good start for next week," Roane County coach Jim Kendall said. "Playing South and Parkersburg will be a good test and a very interesting match."
Cole Moore bogeyed his first hole of the round then played 5-under par the rest of the way and carded a 68 while earning medalist honors. The putter was the sophomore's greatest ally.
"I didn't hit my first green in regulation until the fourth hole," Moore said. "I had a bunch of one-putts and probably didn't have more than 12 putts on the front."
Following his second bogey at No. 10, Moore and Ritchie County's Sydney Snodgrass were both sitting at 1-under for their round. Moore, though, recorded consecutive birdies on the next two holes and finished with four over his last eight holes, including a near eagle on the 18th when his chip shot hugged the cup but failed to fall in.
" It was like 2 inches from going on," Moore said. "On that chip shot, I had a left-to-right breaker and told (Williamstown's Mac McCormick) that he didn't have to mark his ball just in case I might kill it- I was expecting the worse. I hit a perfect chip and it hit 3 feet left of the hole, rolled about 6 inches and checked up.
"As far as the 68, that was awesome."
Snodgrass, who was battling a respiratory illness, slipped to third place overall with a 75 but managed to become a four-time all-tournament member with plenty of strokes to spare. She is still waiting for the arrival of her plaque from her freshman year when her name was misspelled.
"This is definitely an achievement because the LKC is packed, especially these past couple of years with Roane County," Snodgrass said. "With this illness, I actually don't have the energy to be playing golf right now - I was kind of dragging around. You could tell I was getting fatigued on the back nine."
Runner-up honors went to Spears, who turned in an even par 72. The senior kept the ball in play and never really found any trouble with his driver. He caught wind of several scores as he was closing out his round, so he figured medalist honors were out of the question.
"I had heard on the course that Cole was three-deep going into the 18th hole," Spears said. "I played solid. I told myself I wanted to shoot par and if anybody beat that more power to them."
Rounding out the all-tournament team were Williamstown's Mac McCormick (75), Parkersburg Catholic's Ben Collie (77), Wirt County's Darrin Roberts (79) and Ritchie County's Riley Allen (80). Closing out the scoring for Roane County were Cam Moore (78), Caleb Moore (79) and Simmons (81).