The regular season of high school golf came to end last week for teams from the Northern Neck. But the following week crowned the first conference champions from near the Rappahannock River.
On Sept. 30, Essex won the Conference 43 Golf Tournament. This comes after the team won the match at the Golden Eagle Golf Course in Lancaster by a score of 338.
Rappahannock was named the runners-up of the match with a score of 364 followed by Northumberland with 386 and Lancaster with 400.
Alex Nelson of Lancaster was the tournament medalist shooting a round of three over par 75.
A collection of players including Essex’s Carter Morgan, Daniel Clark, Larkin Gross and Charlie Bussler, Rappahannock’s Lance Wheeler and Chance Herbert, and Lancaster’s Shawn Valdrighi and Nelson were named to the all-tournament team.
The two top teams will move on regionals at Piankatank River Golf Course on Oct. 2 beginning at 10 a.m. The course is located at 6198 Stormont Road in Hartfield. They will be accompanied by six of the lowest scorers from Lancaster and Northumberland including Valdrighi and Nelson, of Lancaster, and Matthew Harris, Trent Newsome, Brennan Saunders and Josh Long of Northumberland.
Essex coach Jim Thorne and his team repeats as tournament champions after players struggled at the Golden Eagle Course.
“I would have to say we struggled in the conference championship at Golden Eagle on Monday, but still won by 26 shots,” Thorne said. “I am certain the level of competition will be pretty strong in the Regional championship this Wednesday at Piankitank River Golf Course. We will have to play much better Wednesday if we are going to repeat going to the state again.”
The state tournament will be on Oct. 14-15 at Shenandoah Valley Country Club between Front Royal and Winchester.
Rappahannock Coach Paul Yackel was surprised to get the nod for being coach of the year more than his team finishing second in the conference after a third place finish during the regular season. In years past, Yackel said the team had a large number of students with experience. This year there were only two players out of the five.
“We’ve gotten really better through the year and I think we peaked today. It was a good time to be there,” Yackel said. “Obviously their talent improved, but the biggest thing is that they came together as a team. Probably more than any other team I have ever coached.”
Two of Yackel’s players were named to the all-conference team including Wheeler and Herbert join Gross, Morgan, Nelson, Clark and Northumberland’s Matthew Harris and Brandon Walker* with conference honors.
Aubrey Williams was named to the All-Academic Team like other student athletes mentioned.
Lancaster—Alex Nelson 75*, Patrick Kelley 108*, Nick Nonnemaker 126*, Shawn Valdrighi 91*
Northumberland—Matthew Harris 95*, Adam Parker 113*, Josh Long 100*, Trent Newsome 93*, Brennan Saunders 98*, Cody Weicht 102
Rappahannock (Warsaw)—Lance Wheeler 79*, Chance Herbert 92, Adam Campbell 94, Seth Elborn 112, Austin Scott 99*
Essex—Larkin Gross 80*, Carter Morgan 78*, Daniel Clarke 90, Charlie Bussler 90, Andrew Suggs 122*
*all academic team