Warriors’ Loy finishes golf season on top

By Tommy Keeler Jr.

STEPHENS CITY — Even a week later, Brett Loy is still “shell-shocked.”

The Sherando sophomore has a good reason to be after winning the Group 4A state golf title last week at Ivy Hills Golf Course in Forest.

“It’s still kind of settling in — what happened,” Loy said after school on Tuesday.

Loy shot an even-par 72 on Oct. 13, the first day of the two-day tournament, to take a one-shot lead. Then on Oct. 14, he only played one hole when play was suspended due to rain. He made a par on the first hole, and was declared the state champion by a stroke when the second day was rained out.

The way Loy, The Northern Virginia Daily Male Athlete of the Week for Oct. 12-18, was playing it probably wouldn’t have mattered. He finished first or second in his last four tournaments of the year.

“I was mentally prepared for [the postseason],” Loy said. “My game is about as good as it’s been the whole year, so I guess that helped me win it.”

Loy finished second in the Region 4A North tournament the week before the state tournament and it was also played at Ivy Hills, which helped Loy going into the state tournament.

“It got me familiar with the course,” Loy said. “I learned a lot about it and the greens. That allowed me to play well.”

“Brett, he has an ability that when he sees a course for the first time he can visualize how he’s going to play it and things like that,” Sherando coach Rob Wright said. “He had real good practice rounds, made good notes and knew exactly how he wanted to play it. It was one of those kind of courses that it fit his shape. The way he hits the ball, it set up really well for him.”

Loy was two-under through the first nine holes on the first day. He said a big key for him were the par-3s. He birdied three of the four par 3s on the course.

“I was hitting my long irons really well,” Loy said. “I chipped and putted pretty well, too.”

Loy said he tried not to think about being in the lead after the first round, and focused on just trying to play well again on the second day.

Going into the postseason, Loy said his main goal was just to advance to states. He fell short of making it to states by one stroke last year. Wright said that motivation helped him.

“We talked about how it didn’t feel very good and he didn’t want to feel like that this year,” Wright said. “I think one of his goals was he wanted to get to states, and he knew how close it was last year and he didn’t want there to be any question this year. He went out and shot two-under in regions, so that pretty well sewed it up. He was very focused. That was his vehicle to get to states and then once he got to states he [felt] like he could win.”

Loy said just being at the state tournament in itself was a great experience.

“It was just cool seeing the best players from the state,” Loy said. “Knowing them, I play in a lot of tournaments with them outside of school.”

Loy knew two of them really well. James Wood’s Roger Repasky finished tied for second a shot back, and the two have battled it out in districts and regionals for the last two years. Loy also has a friendly rivalry with Dominion’s Kurt Funkhouser, who finished fourth.

It was Funkhouser who grabbed the final spot from Loy last year to advance to states, and finished ahead of him at the Conference 21 meet earlier this year. Loy placed ahead of him in regionals and again when it mattered most at states.

Wright said Loy was looking forward to playing with them in the final round.

“We were really looking forward to the last group, because he and Roger were friends, and he and Funkhouser were friends,” Wright said. “Funkhouser and Repasky were seniors, and this was the last time competitive in high school, they were going to be able to get together. So they were really looking forward to it. It wasn’t the way it turned out.”

The way it turned out was just fine for Loy. He also helped lead the Warriors to a successful season. With a young team, the Warriors won the Northwestern District title. They were unable to qualify for regionals, but Loy said he was happy with how they played.

Having a state title already under his belt as a sophomore, the soft-spoken Loy has lofty goals for the next two high school seasons.

“Win it three times in a row, I guess,” Loy said.

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com