Blue Devils win 2nd straight OVC title

By Paul Boggs -

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio — Simply put, the Blue Devils are two-for-two in the Ohio Valley Conference.

That’s because the Gallia Academy High School golf team captured its second consecutive OVC championship on Friday, easily winning the team title by a whopping 35 strokes over its next nearest competitor.

Contested at the Portsmouth Elks Golf Club, the Blue Devils fired a team total of 332 — with all four of their counting scores in the mid-to-low 80s and all four earning all-OVC honors.

Gallia Academy also won the OVC championship last season — its first full year in the Lawrence County-heavy league.

The only Scioto County club — Portsmouth — placed second ahead of Ironton, as the host Trojans shot a 367 followed by Ironton at 369.

Coal Grove (372), Fairland (380), Chesapeake (388), Rock Hill (409) and South Point (486) are the other five schools in the conference — and all posted team scores as well.

The one-day league tournament is an 18-hole event.

Josh Davis led the Blue Devils with an 80, followed by a pair of 83s from Kaden Thomas and Taae Hamid.

Jeremy Brumfield fired an 86 for the fourth counting score, as Davis, Hamid, Thomas and Brumfield all made all-OVC.

In fact, for Hamid and Thomas, they repeated to the all-OVC squad from a year ago.

Miles Cornwell carded an 88 for the Blue Devils, while the other non-counting score was a 98 from freshman Reece Thomas.

However, that 98 set Thomas’ season-low 18-hole round.

Cornwell was one spot shy of making the all-OVC team, which was paced by Chesapeake’s Derek Lemley with a medalist-honors of 71.

The remainder of the all-league honorees all shot between 78 and 87, including the 80 by Davis for the fourth-best league score.

Austin Jones of Portsmouth posted a 78, while Trevor Deere of Coal Grove garnered a 79.

Davis’ 80 was followed by an 81 from Rock Hill’s Logan Reed — with Hamid and Kaden Thomas’ 83s joined by Portsmouth’s William Sturgill.

Reece Bellville of Fairland with an 85, Brumfield of Gallia Academy with his 86, and Chandler Dotson of Ironton with his 87 rounded out the all-OVC club.

Only Portsmouth and Rock Hill had four players apiece, while the other six schools all had six golfers each.

The Blue Devils begin postseason tournament play today (Tuesday, Sept. 27) — in the Division II sectional tournament in Portsmouth.

Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106

By Paul Boggs