SOUTH BLOOMFIELD, Ohio — A difficult beginning on a difficult course.
The Gallia Academy High School boys golf team opened its 2017 season on Friday at the challenging Crooks Creek Golf Club — and finished fifth out of 10 teams in the annual Logan Elm Invitational.
The young Blue Devils, which sport just one senior this season in Kaden Thomas, tied Teays Valley with a team total of 370 for the 18-hole tournament.
Gallia Academy finished fifth behind the fourth-place Vikings, though, thanks to the fifth-score tiebreaker in which the Vikings’ fifth and sixth players shot 101 and 102 respectively.
The top four scores count towards the team total, as the top seven squads all fielded six golfers apiece.
For the Blue Devils, besides Thomas’ 85 which consisted of a 40 on the front side and a 45 on the back, Reece Thomas paced the club with a pair of 41s for an 82.
Cooper Davis netted a 90 with a 44 and 46, while Hobie Graham’s 113 (52-61) was Gallia Academy’s fourth counting card.
Elijah Blazer split his 140 with a 75 and 65, while Nick Mayes made his first career varsity start with a 147 (68-79).
Fairfield Union amassed the team championship with a team score of 336, followed by runner-up Unioto at 343 and host Logan Elm at 352.
The top four Fairfield Union players all broke 90 — the only team to do so.
After Teays Valley and Gallia Academy amounted their 370s, Circleville (379) clipped county rival Westfall (381) by two strokes.
Zane Trace (424) and Liberty Union (425) played with four golfers apiece, while 10th-place Amanda-Clearcreek fielded five and shot 447.
In placing fourth, the Vikings’ Brock Richards led the way with an 89, as the next three scores featured a pair of 91s and a 99.
Cord Ebert of Logan Elm and Brent Gulling of Fairfield Union earned co-medalist honors by firing a 74.
Ty Schobelock shot a 75 for the medalist runner-up.
The Blue Devils return to invitational action on Monday — when they travel to Ironton for the annual Ironton Invite.