BELPRE, Ohio — Finishing second in a match never felt so good.
The Southern golf team completed its journey back to the top of the Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division on Thursday evening at Oxbow Golf Course in Washington County, as the Tornadoes sealed the league championship with a runner-up finish in a five-team match.
In finishing second Thursday, Southern concludes the year with a 37-3 league record, ending Waterford’s two-year reign atop the nine-team league. The Wildcats — who won Thursday’s match by three strokes — will settle for second place in the league with a 35-5 mark, three games ahead of third-place Eastern in the final standings.
“These guys really enjoy playing golf and spent a lot of time on the course in the spring and summer,” sixth-year SHS head coach Jeff Caldwell said. “Just like with any sport, the more time and effort you put into something, the better you will be. They have high expectations for themselves and one of their goals was to win the league championship.
“I’m really happy for them to be able to achieve that goal,” Caldwell added. “It was not an easy road, as both Eastern and Waterford have very good teams. It’s been fun so far, but we still have more season left and we want to do well in tournaments. Special thanks to Riverside Golf Course for hosting us this year. I think the guys feel at home there and that helps a lot.”
The Tornadoes were third in the nine-team league last fall, tied for third in 2015 and fourth in 2014.This is the third TVC Hocking title for Southern’s golf program. SHS has waited 11 years in between each of its golf crowns, also winning the league in 1995 and 2006.
In Thursday’s match, using the play six, count four format, Waterford compiled a winning total of 178. Southern’s 181 bettered third-place Miller by 30. Trimble placed fourth in the match with a 226, while host Federal Hocking rounded out the field with a 259.
Ryan Acree led the Purple and Gold with a 43, one stroke behind the co-medalists from Waterford and Miller. Jarrett Hupp recorded a 44 for the Tornadoes, while Jensen Anderson added a 46. Jonah Hoback and Joey Weaver both fired rounds of 48, but only one counted toward the SHS total. Southern’s other non-counting score was a 54 by Landen Hill.
Waterford was led by co-medalist Wesley Jenkins with a 42, followed by Travis Pottmeyer with a 44 and Evan Seevers with a 45. Bryce Hilverding’s 47 was the Wildcats’ final counting score, with Grant Weihl posting a 53 and Matt Seamon firing a 60 for extra scores.
Hunter Dutiel was co-medalist and led Miller with a 42, while Blaine Needham and Trey Hettich both recorded rounds of 56. Collin Pargeon had a 57 the Falcon’s fourth score, while Brody Dutiel added a 62 as an extra score.
The Tomcats were led by Nathan Riley with a 51, followed by Zach Bragg and Aeden Bailes with matching 57s. Josh Hashman rounded out the THS total with a 61.
Brandon Bond led the host Lancers with a 59, while Wes Carpenter added a 66. Mitchell Clem had a 67 for Federal Hocking’s third score, while Shane Fredricks and Jadyn Larson had matching rounds of 68, with only one counting toward the team score. Taylor Clemons had a 70 for Federal Hocking’s other non-counting round.
Southern is scheduled for a non-conference tilt on Monday at Riverside Golf Course.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.