WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF)– Wheeling Central Golf entered Tuesday looking to repeat as single-A State Champs, and even with a subpar performance they still carried a 4-stroke lead into day two.
“Number One is to make sure the kids understand this is not a one day tournament and that it is a two day tournament, we still had to play well today.”-Jim Mortakis, Coach
The Maroon Knights march began at 10:35 AM on Wednesday, when Jake Brown stepped to the tee.
Following him was Landon Prager who was 13-over par Wednesday to tie for 12th in Class-A. After him, Ashton Glover overcame a broken-driver head to post a 10-over on his scorecard and finish top 10. Finally, Luke Tiu won his 2-day battle with muscle cramps to stay 21-over on the tournament and earn all-state honors.
In total, Central was plus-78 on the tournament… As most of the spectators were aware, that was good enough to lend them a 4-stroke cushion over Summers County. But approaching the final green, there was one person who didn’t know…
“to be honest i didn’t know we had it locked in, so i was so nervous, I had no idea I thought it was really close, i thought we were tied, so that was nerve-wracking a bit.”-Luke Tiu, Wheeling Central
Golf is a tough sports to repeat in, and it’s even more impressive when you lose your top two players from the year prior…
“yea this year we came into it as big underdogs, we lost a lot of talent in justin and ryan last year, so we weren’t expecting too much out of this year we just wanted to do well for ourselves and we played incredible as a team.”Luke Tiu, Wheeling Central
With three state championships in the last five years, I had to ask: Is Central a golf-school now?
“I certainly doubt that you would call us a golf school, we didn’t put up some low numbers, maybe Washington is a golf school, we’re just a regular school”Jim Mortakis, Coach
From the other local team, Wheeling Park sent Andrew Pennybacker and Campbell Koegler. The latter added to his trophy case with his 3rd all-state finish, and credits it to his tried-and-true formula…
“it’s just hitting greens, 2-putting, it’s also my home course which helps, I’ve played it 1,000 times so I know it pretty good.”-Campbell Koegler, Wheeling Park
Aside from the Wheeling teams, it was a historic tournament thanks to Kerri-Anne Cook. The Westside golfer became the first-girl to win a state-medalist title after shooting 10-over this tournament.