PORTSMOUTH, Ohio — Although it was close, the Dragons indeed have dethroned the Blue Devils.
That’s because Fairland — by a mere six strokes over two-time defending champion Gallia Academy — captured the 2017 Ohio Valley Conference golf championship on Thursday, which was contested at the Portsmouth Elks Golf Course.
Fairland fired a team total of 356, as the young Blue Devils dialed up a group score of 362.
Coal Grove and Rock Hill tied for third with a 374, while Chesapeake chalked up a 378 for fifth place.
The top four scores counted towards the team total, as those first five clubs all sported the maximum six players apiece.
Portsmouth (416) and Ironton (462) fielded four golfers each, while South Point (478) played with five.
For the Blue Devils, they attempted to make it a three-peat of OVC championships — as the 2017 season was in fact their third in the eight-team league.
Gallia Academy’s only senior — Kaden Thomas — tallied an 81 to pace the squad.
He was followed by freshman Cooper Davis with a 91 and sophomore Reece Thomas with a 93, as the Thomas brothers — along with Cooper — all earned all-tournament team accolades.
The final counting card for the Blue Devils was by sophomore Hobie Graham with a 97.
Nick Mayes with a 107 and Wyatt Sipple with a 112 were the non-counting 18-hole scores for GAHS.
For Fairland, all four of its counting scores also broke 98, including the 90 by girls medalist Hannah Shrout.
The Dragons did have better balance than the Blue Devils, as Reece Bellville shot an 84, Clayton Thomas posted an 86, and Mason Manns managed a 96.
Bellville, Thomas and Shrout joined the Gallia Academy threesome on the all-tournament team.
Their two non-counting scores were an even 100 by Mikhail Auxier and a 102 by Connor Franklin.
Logan Reed of Rock Hill, with a smooth 73, captured match medalist honors and paced the all-tournament squad.
Rounding out the all-tournament unit were Trevor Deere of Coal Grove with an 82, William Sturgill of Portsmouth with an 83, Jacob Lemley of Chesapeake with an 84, and Brandon Blair of Chesapeake with a 94.
Only Ironton and South Point failed to have at least one representative make All-OVC.
The Blue Devils will return to the Portsmouth area on Tuesday, when they compete in the Division II sectional tournament at Shawnee Golf Course.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106