By Jeff Nations
FRONT ROYAL -- Sherando freshman Brett Loy doesn't give away much on the golf course.
That might have been a good thing during Tuesday's Skyline Invitational at Shenandoah Valley Golf Club, considering his opening hole during the shotgun start. Loy opened his day with a double bogey on Shenandoah Valley's Red No. 2 hole -- not a good time to chat.
One hole later, Loy was right back in form as he birdied the Red No. 3. It was the first of three birdies on the day for Loy, who shook off that rough start to fire an even-par 71 and win medalist honors for the Warriors.
"I hit my wedges pretty good and I got up and down very good," Loy said. "I tanked a few drives but I made three birdies."
The 71 was nice, but Loy didn't sound all that impressed afterward. Then again, why should he? During a practice round three weeks ago on this same course, Loy carded a 68. Still, he did admit that this victory is his biggest so far as a member of Sherando's varsity team. All in all, it hasn't been a bad season, either.
"It's been a lot of fun," Loy said. "I hope it keeps going until conference. I think I'm just settling in. I practice every day I can, if it's not raining or anything."
Loy's big day boosted the Warriors to a third-place team finish with 325 points, behind only champion James Wood (316) and runner-up Giles (319).
The victory was the latest of several for the Colonels against Sherando, and didn't come as much of a surprise to Warriors coach Rob Wright.
"Well, they should -- they've got seven seniors," Wright said. "I'm three freshmen and three sophomores. The experience pays off. They had a good year last year and they've followed it up this year. They're playing the way they should."
Giles, which produced the individual runner-up with Gunar Frazier's 72, was a bit more of a wild card.
"I didn't even know that high school existed," Loy said.
Wright said he's been following Giles this season in the newspaper, so he expected the Spartans to field a strong team.
"Giles is pretty solid," Wright said. "I don't know if I'd drive four and a half or five hours with a team that wasn't going to be very representative, so I figured they were players when they came in."
Adding to Sherando's strong showing was Jonah Pearson, who fired a 78. Other scorers for the Warriors were Noah Ford (87) and Josh Hogue (89).
It wasn't enough to keep up with the Colonels, who nearly posted four scores in the 70s with Will Holmes (78), Roger Repasky (79), Peyton Crickman (79) and Josh Akeley (80) providing the scoring.
Host Skyline finished ninth with a 370, and the Hawks' Alec Calhoun had a particularly solid showing with a 38 over nine holes.
"We're definitely playing for the future this year, getting those younger players to play well," Skyline coach Colin Miller said. "Alec and Anthony Crescienzi are playing well. The 370 is our lowest score this year. This is the right time to peak. It's not where we want it to be, but we're going down and peaking at the right time."
Scoring for the Hawks were Crescienzi (91), Calhoun (92), Ben Andrews (93) and Robbie Belanger (94).
Warren County coach Matt Wadas, whose team finished last in the 11-team field with a 389, also found plenty of positives starting with career-best rounds by Courtney L'Amoreaux and Brandon McWhorter. L'Amoreaux dropped two strokes off her previous lowest score, and McWhorter whittled his best by one stroke.
"We played fantastic today," Wadas said. "This was a great day for us. We're a young team. Two of our kids shot personal bests today. If you look at our team score, we're not around these other teams. But for a young team, we're right where we want to be at the end of the season which is improving."
L'Amoreaux (91), McWhorter (95), Chase Hatfield (101) and Peyton Poe (102) provided the scoring finishes for the Wildcats, who will be right back on the same course today for the Bull Run District tournament.
Contact Sports Editor Jeff Nations at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or firstname.lastname@example.org>. Follow on Twitter @J_NationsNVD