State-Bound Golfers: Warren County and Skyline pair advance to state tourneys
FRONT ROYAL — Lauren Sims made a big decision on Tuesday that had a ripple effect on several other golfers in the area.
Sims qualified for the Class 3 state tournament, by shooting a 77 at Tuesday’s Region 3B tournament held at Shenandoah Valley Golf Club. However, Sims decided to skip the regular state tournament next week and instead compete in the Virginia High School League Girls State tournament held at Independence Golf Club in Richmond on Oct. 23 and 24. Girls aren’t allowed to participate in both tournaments, so Sims had to make a decision after her round on Tuesday.
“It’s really exciting to make the state tournament,” Sims said. “I played really well (Tuesday). So just getting to states is really cool. I picked the girls state, because I felt like that was the best decision for me.”
Brentsville’s Isabel Bae, who shot a 79, made the same decision as Sims.
That opened up two spots for the Class 3 state tournament, to be held on Oct. 9 and 10 in Abingdon. The top team from Tuesday’s regional tournament qualified for the state tournament as well as five individuals. Warren County’s Joey Sorge, Jacob Laughlin and Skyline’s Trenton Little grabbed the last three individual spots.
Sorge (81) and Little (81) tied for the third individual spot, while Laughlin (83) took the fifth and final spot.
“It feels very good,” Sorge said. “I’ve been working up to this the entire season. And it’s just so great. All of my teammates have been cheering me on and my family. It’s just incredible.”
The junior said he shot a 39 on the front nine and a 42 on the back nine.
Sorge and Little had to go to a playoff to determine seeding for the state tournament. Sorge won the playoff on the first hole with a par.
Little, a senior, said he was happy with his round and qualifying for the state tournament.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Little said. “Not that many kids from Skyline have went. So it’s a good experience. And it’s my senior year, so it’s pretty fun.”
Laughlin missed last week’s Northwestern District tournament, but made up for it with a solid performance in regionals.
“It feels great because last year I went to regionals and didn’t get a chance to go to states,” Laughlin said. “It’s my senior year, so it really feels good.”
Sims finished second overall individually behind James Monroe’s Marshall Wood, who shot a 69.
She said she was very pleased with her round, which featured a 38 on the front nine and a 39 on the back nine.
“Today I played pretty well,” Sims said. “I feel like I had some really good putts as well. My driver was a little off, but my putting helped a lot with that.”
William Monroe won the team title with a 321, while Warren County finished second with a 335. Skyline was fourth with a 340.
“This is just amazing for our team,” Warren County coach Matt Wadas said. “I’ve been coaching now for 12 years, and eight, nine years ago we didn’t have a kid breaking 100. So to see where the program’s gone is big. And also to see where these kids have gone through the year. (Earlier this year) We lost to Skyline by three strokes, Brentsville by four, William Monroe by 10. So we’ve always been close, but we’ve never been able to put that great day together. And this was a straight team effort top to bottom.”
Warren County’s David Kelly shot an 85 and teammate Michael Silek shot an 86.
Skyline’s Brandon Griffith and Noah Williams each shot a 91.
Skyline coach Roy Kelly said he was happy to have a few kids move on to the state tournaments, but he also said sad to see the season end for the team as a whole.
“It’s bittersweet,” Kelly said. “As a coach you really enjoy being around your players. So I just want the best for them. Unfortunately, we couldn’t do what we wanted to do. But Lauren (Sims) did awesome. Trenton (Little) I was real happy to see him put that potential that he has to use and actually finish the year the way he did.”