VIENNA -Parkersburg South's Alex Schreckengost and Adeena Shears have been steady throughout the high school golf season and Monday during the Class AAA, Region I tournament they didn't waver from their consistency.
At Parkersburg Country Club, Schreckengost turned in the low individual score of 1-over par 74 and Shears tagged along with a 75 as the Patriots captured first place with a 238 and qualified for the state tournament as a team for the first time in seven years.
Also competing for South were seniors Garrett Dailey (89) and Noah Smith (91).
Photo by Kerry Patrick
Parkersburg South golfer Alex Schreckengost watches his drive on the 17th hole at Parkersburg Country Club during Monday’s Class AAA, Region I meet.
"It's just a phenomenal feeling - my stomach is in knots," South coach Sherry Morris said.
At the outset, both Schreckengost and Shears had their share of issues before riding out the storm. Schreckengost bogeyed his first hole, while Shears hit the wrong ball on her second hole and was assessed a two-stroke penalty.
"I told my team to keep the mistakes to a minimum and keep everything below a '6' - so what do I do, I go out and make a '6' on my first hole," said Schreckengost, who recovered with five pars in a row. On the back-end of his round, he hit one stretch where he birdied three of four holes. "I was definitely feeling it after that. I was able to aim at the flagstick, hit it and knew it would be good.
"Toward the end of the round, I got a little nervous because I was thinking that maybe this was the shot that maybe wins or loses it for us."
On the hole Shears hit the wrong ball and incurred a two-stroke penalty, she managed to salvage a bogey.
"I always check my ball and I guess I didn't that time," Shears admitted.
Short putts were her nemesis throughout the round, but Shears did knock down several lengthy putts for her only two birdies of the afternoon, including a 35-footer on No. 3.
"If I could have putted better, I probably could have posted a score below par," Shears added. "But it's nice to know we made it."
Wheeling Park earned the second qualifying spot after turning in a 242 as Kyle Wenzel (80), Cole Hand (81) and Dylan Wojcik (81) fell along a similar plane.
South's slim margin of victory also was made possible by the fact Dailey changed the tune in his game and parred his final four holes.
"I knew Alex and Adeena were low and I wasn't sure about Noah, so I knew I had to give it a shot and do my best," Dailey said.
Rounding out the top four in the team standings were University at 245 and Parkersburg at 248. Representing the Big Reds were Lucas Prine (79), Lauryn Davidson (81), Austin Davis (88) and Ian McElroy (90). Prine and Davidson both shot under par on the back nine.
University's Eric Wirth also shot 79 and defeated Prine in a one-hole playoff for the final qualifying spot for individuals not members from an advancing team. The first individual qualifying spot went to Brooke's Logan Lojszczyk with a 76.
PHS returns its top three players for next year in Prine, Davidson and Davis.
"We've had a good season," PHS coach Don Snider said. "Lucas was the best player on the team coming down the stretch - he's devastated. He'll probably come back next year the strongest kid mentally. It will hurt for two days, then he will be fine.
"It's two years in a row now that we haven't had somebody go to state and that's unusual for us."