Stickles leads Strasburg to third in Bull Run mini-tournament

FRONT ROYAL — Strasburg’s Austin Stickles didn’t finish his round the way he wanted, but his start was more than enough to lead the Rams on Wednesday.

FRONT ROYAL — Strasburg’s Austin Stickles didn’t finish his round the way he wanted, but his start was more than enough to lead the Rams on Wednesday.

The sophomore golfer shot an 81 to help lead the Rams to a third place finish in the Bull Run District mini-tournament held at Shenandoah Valley Golf Club.

Stickles shot a two-over par 37 on his front nine, before struggling on the back nine.

“I was hitting my approach. I hit my drives really good, and then I’d stick my next club pretty close,” Stickles said of his front nine. “I had one birdie on the front nine, but I had a ton of pars. …On the back (nine) I couldn’t seem to find any pars. My putting went kind of wild for a couple holes. I think I had three three-putts. I just tried to stay focused and keep my head up.”

Strasburg coach Joel Morgan said Stickles round was typical of how things went for his golfers on Wednesday.

“We get one good nine out of them, and then things don’t go quite as well on the other nine,” Morgan said. “But I think we’re seeing some good things. Like I told Austin (Stickles), I think all three times he’s played he’s had one round in the 30s and the other one in the 40s. I said ‘it will get there.’ I said ‘you’ll get two of them in the 30s.’”

William Monroe won the meet with a 333, followed by Clarke County (344), Strasburg (354), Central (365), Warren County (367), George Mason (369) and Madison County (371). William Monroe’s Austin Crenshaw shot the best round (77).

Sophomore twins James and Jack Burr each shot a 92 for Strasburg, and Seth Stickley shot an 89.

“We got a very nice round out of Seth. For the (first tournament of the year) he didn’t qualify when we played that off, but the last two weeks he has really come on,” Morgan said. “He played a nice nine over at William Monroe the other day and then came in today and played the front nine in 40. So, I know he wasn’t as happy coming in with a 49. But still as a whole to put up an 89 after two weeks it was over a 100 in the qualifying round we played at Blue Ridge Shadows. He’s starting to hit the ball better.”

Coy Jimenez led Central with an 82. The junior said that he had a couple bad holes, which proved costly but outside of that he was happy with his round.

“I was hitting the ball pretty consistent. I was feeling good,” Jimenez said. “…I’ve played here quite a few times. I really enjoy this course.”

Central’s Sam Shifflett shot an 87, while Brandon Davis and Logan Baker each shot a 98.

The Falcons struggled in the first meet of the season on Monday, and coach Jeff Walters said he was happy with how they played Wednesday.

“Coy (Jimenez) was definitely frustrated with his score the other day. So it’s good to see him bound back and play a little better. Sam (Shifflett) too, so that’s a positive,” Walters said. “…We did have two new guys playing five and six — their first match — little inexperience in there. We’ve got a really young team and we lost quite a bit. I don’t know if you can call it a rebuilding year, but we’re going to be in that mix. Only six shots between the last four teams. You can finish anywhere really from third on down — it’s really tight.”

Warren County had a strong showing from its top three golfers. Junior Jacob Loughlin shot an 88, while sophomores Joey Sorge and Michael Silek each shot an 89.

Warren County coach Matt Wadas said he was pleased with how his young squad performed.

“We showed our youth today,” Wadas said. “We got four sophomores and three juniors, and the first three set us up for a top finish, and then the youth came in. We got to learn from that and get better. I thought we had a solid round, shooting scores that we haven’t shot in 10 years. We have been the bottom of the Bull Run, the bottom of the Evergreen for a long time. So I’m really excited about the opportunities, but we got to learn and get better.”

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