PARKERSBURG -The Parkersburg South golfers are riding a hot streak at the right time. And if all goes according to plan, the Patriots could end a drought that dates back to 2006.
Beginning at 10 a.m. today at a Class AAA regional scheduled for Parkersburg Country Club, both Parkersburg South and Parkersburg will be among eight teams competing for two slots for next week's Class AAA state tournament in Wheeling.
Wheeling Park and University also figure to have a say in terms of the regional tournament. Rounding out the field are Brooke, John Marshall, Morgantown and Preston.
"It figures to be a four-team regional," PHS coach Don Snider said. "I don't think Brooke, John Marshall, Morgantown and Preston have enough good golfers. The other four have two to three good golfers. South has four legitimate golfers than can play."
South coach Sherry Morris will send out Alex Schreckengost, Adeena Shears, Garrett Dailey and Noah Smith to represent a Patriot squad that suffered just one loss since the middle of August and ended the regular season 85-12-1. Junior Dylan Cress was in the mix until he broke his finger playing flag football during gym class on the final day of qualifying.
The culmination of South's success occurred last Wednesday when the Patriots broke 150 during a dual meet with Warren at Oxbow Golf and Country Club. Shears was medalist at 1-under par 34 as the Patriots finished with a 146.
- Parkersburg Country Club in Vienna: Parkersburg, Parkersburg South, Brooke, John Marshall, Morgantown, Preston, University, Wheeling Park
- Berry Hills Country Club in Charleston: Ripley, Capital, George Washington, Greenbrier East, Oak Hill, Princeton, Riverside, Shady Spring, South Charleston, Woodrow Wilson
- Green Hills Country Club in Fairmont: Ravenswood, Ritchie County, Roane County, Braxton County, East Fairmont, Fairmont Senior, North Marion Oak Glen, Webster County, Weir
- Williams Country Club in Weirton: Magnolia, Paden City, St. Marys, Tyler Consolidated, Bishop Donahue, Clay-Battelle, Madonna, Trinity, Wheeling Central
- Big Bend Golf Course in Tornado: Gilmer County, Parkersburg Catholic, Wahama, Williamstown, Wirt County, Buffalo, Charleston Catholic, St Joe Central
"I feel good about our chances," Morris said. "We're ready for regionals and we feel we can compete against anybody after winning the Two Rivers Athletic Conference and Ohio Valley Athletic Conference) meets.
"We have a real good opportunity to advance to state as a team for the first time since 2006."
As for the Big Reds, Snider still was tweaking his lineup late into last week trying to figure out a fourth individual to coincide with his three juniors of Austin Davis, Lucas Prine and Lauryn Davidson.
"I wish my golfers would have made it easy and made the decision for me," Snider said. "All year long, they had the opportunity to take the decision out of the coach's hands, but they haven't done it.
"I looked at 18 holes and how they play at this course along with a lot of different things. I've narrowed it to two, but I am going back and forth all the time."
Knowledge of Parkersburg Country Club may factor into home-course advantage for PHS. That's the one intangible the Big Reds are hoping puts them into first or second place. Otherwise, they will have to rely on clinching one of the two individual slots among those who are not members of a qualifying team.
"My three juniors have played fine, but they haven't played consistently fine," Snider said. "I'm confident being on our home course. I know those three juniors can all shoot in the 70s because they have done it. If they are on, we can win it."
Defending state champ Roane County begins its postseason quest at Green Hills Country Club in Fairmont. Less than 24 hours after dominating the Little Kanawha Conference championships at Mingo Bottom, the Raiders defeated both Parkersburg and Parkersburg South in a tri-meet and improved to 166-3.
Earlier this season, the Raiders became the first non-Class AAA program to win the Callaway Junior Tour High School Series.
"We like our chances, but we still have to go up there and play," said Roane County sophomore Cole Moore, who was medalist at the LKC meet with a 4-under par 68. "The course is really hilly and there are a lot of blind tee shots, so it's pretty tough."
Don't discount Ritchie County, which placed runner-up to Roane County at the LKC, as a contender to take one of the two qualifying spots. Especially when four-time all-LKC member Sydney Snodgrass leads off the lineup. The senior will be attending the University of Alabama-Birmingham next year.
"I think first place is going to Roane County, so we're fighting for second to make it to states and that would be a great accomplishment for our team," Snodgrass said. "If the team doesn't make it and I make it, that's OK but I really want to get the team up there."
Area schools will split up into two regionals.
Williamstown, Parkersburg Catholic, Wirt County, Gilmer County and Wahama will be part of an eight-team field at Big Bend Golf Course in Tornado. Williamstown, Parkersburg Catholic and Wirt County were able to get in an 18-hole round on the regional course Wednesday afternoon. Both Mac McCormick (74) and Ty Adkins (76) broke 80 for the Yellowjackets.
"If we play like we did today, I like our chances," Williamstown coach Russ Schramm said. "But that is always a big if. Charleston Catholic is definitely the top dog in our region."
At Williams Country Club in Weirton, St. Marys joins Magnolia, Paden City and Tyler Consolidated. St. Marys wrapped up an 81-10 season after winning a quadrangular Thursday at Greenhills Country Club in Ravenswood.
"Madonna has to be the heavy favorite," St. Marys coach Howard Meeks said. "We lost by four strokes in a nine-hole match earlier on their home course, but I think our team is good enough if anybody is going to upset them on their home course. It could be us or Wheeling Central because we have enough depth."