By Tommy Keeler Jr.
WINCHESTER -- Sherando freshman Brett Loy and James Wood's Will Holmes have been going back and forth early in the golf season. The two golfers play together some during the summer, and have developed a friendly rivalry. On Thursday, it was Loy who had the upper hand.
Loy shot a two-over par 74 to take the top medalist honor at the Northwestern District mini-tournament Thursday at Rock Harbor. Holmes shot a 78.
"Me and him are pretty good friends, but we love to beat each other," Loy said of his rivalry with Holmes.
The Warriors finished second as a team, four shots behind first-place James Wood.
Loy has been rock solid for the Warriors all season. He has shot either a 73 or 74 at every event this year for the Warriors.
Loy said he got off to a good start on the back nine, but struggled a little on the front nine.
"The front nine, I couldn't make anything towards the end," Loy said. "My putting was good. I never had to three putt today."
Sherando coach Rob Wright said Loy has been taking lessons for seven years, and has been a great addition to his young squad this season.
"He's got a great swing. He works on it," Wright said. "His routine before every shot is exactly the same -- nothing changes.
"His putting is unbelievable for somebody 14 years old. We've got a solid anchor to build around. He's a very nice young man, very enjoyable to have around."
The Warriors and Colonels had split the first two Northwestern District mini-tournaments, but Wright said the last time they played at Rock Harbor James Wood won by 15 shots.
"We're making strides," Wright said. "I really think that everybody was getting tired. They've had a lot of golf going on lately. In between rounds we're practicing, and then after we practice they go out and play on their own."
Sherando finished with a 333 as Jonah Pearson shot an 85, Mason Scott an 86 and Collin Ordonez an 88.
Millbrook finished third with a 345, Handley was fourth with a 361 and Skyline was fifth with a 395.
The Hawks were led by Robbie Belanger, who shot a 90. Skyline's Ben Andrews shot a 95, Anthony Crescienzi a 102 and Alec Calhoun a 108.
Skyline has a young squad, and coach Colin Miller said the team is building for the future.
"We have a lot of improving to do, but what I like about our team is they're great kids, good attitudes," Miller said. "It depends on how much they're willing to do in the offseason. Golf teams are built in the offseason. Golf is about how much you're willing to get on the course, how much you're willing to work on the fundamental skills that are needed. Just like anything else in life, experience is everything. So it really does come down to how much they want to play."
Districts no longer decide who advances to regionals, but Wright said he'd like to see the district mini-tournaments continue in the future.
"I think it is competition," Wright said. "We're still rivals and good friends. Those kinds of things are still important. I would still like to see one or two minis. They play together all the time, and it's good to see them split up and go out and play."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org