Roane claims PCC Invite

VIENNA – Following a near-miss last Friday at Lewisburg, the Roane County golfers were chomping at the bit to redeem themselves in the second leg of the Callaway Junior Tour’s High School Series.

The Raiders more than made amends at Monday’s Parkersburg Country Club Invitational. In addition to posting a seven-stroke victory over runner-up Parkersburg High (220-227), Roane County put three individuals on the five-member all-tournament team.

Setting the pace was Alston Spears with a 1-under par 72 followed by Cole Moore with a 73. Cam Moore, who did not compete at the Lewisburg stop where the Raiders lost the title to Scott by one stroke, joined his teammates on the all-tourney squad at PCC with a 75. Rounding out the all-tourney selections were Parkersburg South’s Adeena Shears (74) and University’s Eric Wirth (75).

Both Spears and Cole Moore established a career low in terms of score on the Parkersburg Country Club layout. Both finished with three birdies.

“This was sort of like redemption,” the Roane County squad said in unison as players waited for the start of the awards ceremony. The day turned out be longer than expected following a 1 1/2-hour fog delay in the morning.

“Last week, Hunter (Simmons) and Caleb (Moore) did their part – it’s just that myself and Alston didn’t,” Cole Moore said.

Roane County is seeking to become the first school other than a Class AAA program to win the overall title of the high school series. The Raiders compete at the Ohio Valley Invitational at Highland Spring Golf Club on Wednesday then wrap up the series Friday at Big Bend Golf Course for the Capital City Classic.

“We want to win this,” Spears said.

Parkersburg High might throw a curve ball in Roane County’s plans after its runner-up performance on Monday. Three of the Big Reds’ four golfers finished in the 70s, including Lauryn Davidson with a 75. Austin Davis and Lucas Prine each followed with a 76.

PHS coach Don Snider is hoping these scores are indicative of what will take place when the Big Reds play host to a Class AAA regional on Sept. 30.

“Let’s just pretend this is Sept. 30 and these are our scores,” Snider laughed. “This is what we need to have. Those three kids played unbelievable, and they will tell you they are upset at those scores because they felt they could have had better scores.

“I thought they played great. They had great iron shots all day. All their approach shots were good, and they putted fairly well.”

Davidson finished with four birdies, while Davis and Prine were sitting at 2-over deep into their round.

“I can’t remember the last time we had three scores in the 70s in a tournament like this,” Snider continued. “This is the very first tournament of the year and it’s a wonderful place to start because if they can put these scores up now, they can do it then (at regionals).”

Shears made a serious push at individual medalist honors. At one juncture, she was 1-under par through 11 holes. Her round consisted of two birdies and an eagle on the 360-yard, par 4 fifth hole.

“I hit it in from 110 yards with a really light 9-iron from the rough,” Shears said. “That was awesome. I knew it was good because I hit it well and thought it would be really close.”

In the format where teams consisted of four individuals and the low three rounds counted toward the overall score, Marietta was the only other school with three individuals in the 70s with Nathan Matheny (77), Jeffrey Hensler (77) and Nick Thieman (79). The Tigers placed third at 232.