Roane repeats at Callaway

The Callaway High School Series doesn’t cater to lightweights.

That’s why the Roane County golfers respect their peers in this format. And why the Raiders treat back-to-back overall titles with the utmost reverence.

A fourth place showing at last Friday’s Capital City Classic played at Big Bend Golf Course secured the overall championship at 3,300 points – slightly higher than runner-up Parkersburg (3,100) and that much more impressive than George Washington’s third place total of 2,800.

Last year, Roane County became the first non-Class AAA program to claim the title.

“I think our showing at the Callaway High School Series was good, but I don’t think it was our best,” Roane County coach Jim Kendall said. “It doesn’t bother me that it wasn’t our best because it is early in the year.

“Traditionally, we haven’t played well at Big Bend. It’s a course we don’t see, but I was surprised by our scores on Friday.”

Unaware of a change in the scoring format, Kendall and his troops thought they were out of contention entering the fourth and final stop at Big Bend Golf Course. The Raiders placed runner-up behind Greenbrier East at the Lewisburg Elks Golf Invitational then took sixth at both the Parkersburg Country Club Invitational and the Ohio Valley Invitational.

“By coming in sixth place, we didn’t think we would have enough points,” Kendall said. “But on our way home from the Ohio Valley Invitational, (tournament official) Chris Slack texted me saying we were leading this thing.”

Hampered by a nagging hamstring injury, Cole Moore shot lights out at Big Bend and was medalist after carding a 5-under par 66. His twin brother, Cam Moore, also earned a spot on the all-tournament team with a 71.

“Big Bend was pretty flat and there were no hills for Cole to walk up,” Kendall said. “At the Highland, he was feeling pretty good until he had to walk up some of those hills.”

Since the High School Series began in 2007, only Hurricane owns more overall titles after winning three in a row from 2007-09. Roane County can match that feat next year, but for the time being the focus is on the here and now – and chasing a possible third straight state title.

The Raiders’ season resumes Saturday against some of the premier programs in Ohio and West Virginia at the Jones Shootout -hosted by Wheeling Park at Oglebay Golf Course.

“This will be a good treat for the kids,” Kendall said.

Also in the distant future is attempting to successfully defend their title at the Little Kanawha Conference Meet then go about their business at the Class AA regional meet at Greenhills Country Club in Ravenswood. Despite placing runner-up to Ritchie County at last year’s regional meet, the Raiders were able to dominate at the state meet.

“Like I said last year, it’s great that we get to see great competition from all three classes at the Callaway High School Series,” Kendall said. “We were able to hang in there as far as point values through all four tournaments.”

Contact Kerry Patrick at kpatrick@newsandsentinel.com