By Tommy Keeler Jr. - firstname.lastname@example.org
WINCHESTER -- Things didn't go exactly as planned for Sherando's golf team Monday at Rock Harbor golf course.
The Warriors shot a team total of 365, which was a lot higher than they had wanted, but in the end they finished with the result they were looking for. The Warriors still managed to finish second in the Northwestern District tournament, which gave them a Region II berth. The Region II tournament will be held Thursday on the Warriors' home course at Shenandoah Valley Golf Club.
"It wasn't pretty, but a win's a win," Sherando coach Rob Wright said. "It was about 25 strokes higher than what we've been shooting."
Windy conditions and tough pin placement made scores higher for many of the players and teams in the district tournament. James Wood, the regular season champions, won the tournament with a 326. James Wood's Will Holmes, the Northwestern District Player of the Year, Roger Repasky and Thomas Papastavrou all shot 80 and had a three-way playoff to determine the top medalist honor. Papastavrou won the playoff, with Repasky finishing second.
Skyline's Joe Dawkins and Rob Willard each qualified individually for regionals. Dawkins shot an 89, while Willard had a 92. Skyline finished fourth as a team with a team total of 371.
Sherando's No. 1 golfer Chris Slater struggled on the course as well. Slater shot a 90, including a 50 on the back nine.
"Coming in I thought the worst I would do would be lower 80s," Slater said. "On the back nine, things really took a turn for the worse. The wind really started picking up, and pin placement was really tough on some of the holes."
Slater said he actually did pretty well on the course's toughest hole -- the par 5 12th. The 12th hole gave many players trouble, and there was only one par all day.
Both Dawkins and Willard took a big hit on the hole, which has a large slope on the green. The hole was placed at the rim of the top of the slope, which made things very difficult for the golfers.
Dawkins said he putted his ball up the slope four times before getting into position to make a putt. He finished with a 10 on the hole, but still did well enough to make it to regionals.
"I felt like I let the team down, I really thought we had a chance to go as a team," Dawkins said. "Individually, it's nice that I'm able to go to regionals."
Willard had a putt for birdie on the 12th hole, but ended up with a 12.
"I hit it up the slope three times," Willard said. "I'd watch it go up and then all the way back down, and I just wanted to cry."
James Wood coach Al Smith said he was very happy with how his team performed.
"I think it's very exciting, considering the tough pin placement and with the wind picking up, to shoot a 326," Smith said. "Sometimes when you win the regular season, you can have a letdown. The kids really wanted to win this. It was a good day."
Things will be much tougher on Thursday at the Region II tournament. Region II is usually one of the toughest regions in the state, and the coaches expect more of the same this year.
"We know we're going to see some of the same old opponents that we've played in the past," Wright said. "It's going to take our very best effort. We'll try to do the best we can."