Generals finish third in Group 1A state golf tournament

Stonewall Jackson's Nick Dotson watches his shot from the sand trap on the 12th hole Tuesday in the Group 1A state golf tournament at Heritage Oaks Golf Course in Harrisonburg. Dotson shot an 89. Tommy Keeler Jr./Daily

HARRISONBURG – Stonewall Jackson didn’t have the best start to its round on Tuesday at the Group 1A state golf tournament, but the Generals finished strong.

The Generals improved by 15 strokes from their first-round performance on Monday to shoot a 380. They finished with a two-day total of 775 and to finish third in the two-day state tournament.

“It was better than yesterday,” Stonewall Jackson coach Steve Burkholder said. “I’d be lying if I said we weren’t all a little disappointed with our performance, but everybody’s here and everybody contributed. I was proud of the way they responded, because it could have gone one of two ways, and for most of them today they came back better than yesterday. If not better than yesterday they ended on a high note, which was good.”

Stonewall Jackson junior Yash Desai shot a team-best 87 on Tuesday after shooting a 98 on the first day to finish with a two-day total of 185.

Desai said he shot a 50 on the back nine, which is where all the Generals started their second round. However, he turned things around on the front nine.

Stonewall Jackson's Yash Desai watches his tee shot on the 10th hole Tuesday at the Group 1A state golf tournament at Heritage Oaks Golf Course in Harrisonburg. Desai shot an 87. Tommy Keeler Jr./Daily

“I shot a 50 (on the back nine), so I thought it was over and then I turned around and shot a 37,” Desai said. “So I’m happy about that. I was hitting my drives a lot better. So that motivated me to putt better and my irons were good all day so I didn’t really have to worry about that. Everything felt good on the front (nine). I just wish I had done that all week.”

Stonewall Jackson Nick Dotson shot an 89, after shooting a 99 in the first round for a two-day total of 188.

Dotson said it wasn’t his best round, but he was happy with how he bounced back from the first round.

“Overall, I’m not too disappointed,” Dotson said. “It’s a challenging course, and I know I could have done a lot better. But at the end of the day I gave it what I had, and I’m just glad that I made it here.”

One nice surprise for the Generals was the play of No. 6 seed Alan Arnesen. The sophomore had the third-best score Tuesday, shooting a 97. He shot a 100 in the first round and finished with the third-best two day total of 197.

“Basically I had some bad holes in the beginning,” Arnesen said of his round. “My first drive was horrible, but I just picked myself up and kept playing and eventually came out with a 97.”

Burkholder said he was very happy with Arnesen’s play and said he hopes it’s a sign of things to come.

“I’m definitely looking forward to seeing him progress in the next year and see what he can do,” Burkholder said. “He has a nice swing, he’s just gotta be more consistent.”

Stonewall Jackson’s No. 5 seed Blake Rice shot a 107 for the Generals’ fourth best score Tuesday. He shot a 116 on Monday and finished with a two-day total of 223.

Stonewall Jackson junior Kayley Romick shot a 112 on Tuesday to finish with a two-day total of 213, while senior Lukas Fultz shot a 114 on Tuesday to finish with a total of 212.

“Kayley and Lukas definitely struggled today, but with both of them I was just proud of the way they finished,” Burkholder said. “I know their first nine holes were not pretty, probably the worst nine holes they’ve played in a really long time. But they both finished a lot stronger, which I was proud of.”

George Wythe won the state title with a team score of 646, while Altavista was second with a 711. Auburn was the fourth team in the tournament, but one of their players was unable to make it and they only have four players on their roster to begin with. So they were disqualified from the team competition.

George Wythe’s Chris Boothe won the state individual title. He shot a 76 on Tuesday to finish with a two-day total of 147.

Fultz is the lone senior in the lineup for the Generals. Dotson said the season was a good one for the Generals.

“As a team we made it to states, and that’s great,” Dotson said. “I think that will help encourage us for next year. And really get us out going to the course in the summer and working on our games, and trying to make an even better run at placing at states next year.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or