Catholic’s Blake Lewis Wins All-State Golf Honors | News, Sports, Jobs


Photo by Kerry Patrick Parkersburg Catholic’s Blake Lewis watches his fairway shot during the second round of the W.Va High School State Golf Tournament Wednesday in Wheeling, W.Va.

WHEELING, W.Va. — Parker Vannoy has taken a turn. Blake Lewis gave it a spin.

Both golfers fell shy in their pursuit of individual state titles in their respective divisions, but managed to claim all-state recognition in the final round of the W.Va. High School State Tournament at the Robert Trent Jones Sr. Racing at Wheeling.

Carrying the Parkersburg South banner for the second consecutive season, Vannoy improved his midfield ranking from his freshman year in Class AAA and tied for fourth with Campbell Koegler of Wheeling Park. Vannoy shot rounds of 78 and 80 for a total of 16 of 158 over two days.

Gavin Goodrich of Wheeling Park shot 2-for-73 on Day 2 and earned medalist honors by a four-shot margin after finishing the tournament at 7-for-149.

In Class A, Lewis represented Parkersburg Catholic for the fourth consecutive year and led the final round and in position for an eventual second individual title. Lewis had his troubles in the second half of his front nine and was marked by three consecutive double bogeys as he made the four-shot turn from leader Lucas Riggleman of Petersburg.

Lewis nearly drilled for the Eagle at No. 13. He finished with a birdie and picked up two shots on Riggleman to close in three. A tough final three holes put Lewis out of contention for the state title. After waiting over an hour for all eight all-staters to set up, the bubble didn’t burst as Lewis grabbed the last All-State spot while shooting 17-over in the final round and 28-over for both days.

Justin Doerr of Wheeling Central Catholic shot 8 times in the final round and 20 times for the tournament to earn medal honors by three shots.

“Lucas was definitely going to set the bar high today,” said Lewis. “Today was obviously not the best of days. Scores weren’t great for me, but yeah, Lucas was someone I was chasing.

Lewis bogeyed par and Riggleman on the par-3 15th hole to minimize the gap to two shots with three holes to play for both golfers. Lewis then cut his drive no more than 50 yards on the next hole. The senior Crusader played his last three holes at 6-over.

“I was right there with Riggleman then at No. 16, I had a bad tee shot,” said Lewis. “To be honest, I don’t think I’ve done this in three months.”

As for St. Marys attempting to become Class A state champions for the fourth straight year, the Blue Devils hit a bump in the road but earned a second-place finish behind Wheeling Central Catholic. The Blue Devils entered the final round trailing the Maroon Knights by four strokes. Day 2 was not the Blue Devils day. Once the entire group of state-qualified golfers circled for their second nine holes, St. Marys fell to third place behind Wahama by 11 strokes.

The only senior in St. Marys’ starting lineup, Brayden Hall, was a member of three state champions and also helped earn the runner-up plate this year.

“Playing in the state is a huge learning experience,” said Hall. “I think we may have added too much stress on ourselves this week. Maybe it was just bad days. It’s golf, things happen.

“The team will learn from it. We have two players this year who had never played in the state. It’s a few nerves right there. Next year (St. Marys) is going to be really good. “

Parkersburg junior Brielle Milhoan joined Vannoy as an individual qualifier in the AAA class. In his first trip to the state tournament, Milhoan played a round of 94 and finished tied for 27th in the standings.

In the tag team title hunt, Keyser picked up a three-stroke victory over Winfield in the Class AA and Wheeling Park edged runners-up Cabell Midland by 11 strokes for the Class AAA championship.

After the first class AAA groups finished their rounds, Vannoy was the leader of the clubhouse. The only question left unanswered would be how a trio of golfers who made the turn with lower scores over 27 holes would fare in the final quartet. In addition to Goodrich, his challengers were Savannah Hawkins from Hurricane and Jack Michael from Cabell Midland. Hawkins played the course 4-over and finished second, while Michael took third after shooting 6-over for his final round.

The front nine kept Vannoy in the chase throughout the tournament, starting with a 1-under 35 on Tuesday and a 1-over 37 on Wednesday. A possible state title never occurred to him initially. Two shots behind the leaders at the back, those thoughts started to emerge.

“I thought if I had two decent days there would be a good chance I could do the whole state,” said Vannoy. “I didn’t think there was a chance of winning this year. Fourth place just shows that there is still room for improvement. Compared to last season, it’s much better this year. Credit goes to my dad (assistant coach Matt Vannoy) and head coach John Badgley.

Vannoy suffered three straight bogeys before ending his inning with a par.

“I had a few rough holes in my back and I told myself to keep it together and finish strong,” said Vannoy.

Similar to Vannoy experiencing the waiting game for top golfers to complete their rounds, Lewis also went through that ordeal seeing himself on the bubble for all-state selection. At one point he was 12th in the standings. As the Class A contingent began to gain traction, their chances continued to rise.

“Coming here and getting all three out of four states is pretty special,” said Lewis, who won an individual state title as a sophomore. “Not many people can say that. I wish I could have come out with a win. I’m glad to see Justin (Doerr) win. He’s been here for four years and so have I. He played really well our second year and has failed. Broken down the following year. Glad to see him win this year. I’m proud of him.”

In the St. Marys situation, all four golfers were on their way to all-state recognition. Trent Renner (16th, 87), Preston Lawhon (T14th, 89), Cole Darnold (11th, 88 ) and Hall (T14th, 92) all ranked in the top 17 individual scores.

“Especially after the first day, the guys were very disappointed because they know how well they can play and they didn’t live up to their expectations.” said St. Marys coach Catie Hamilton. “They came today wanting to do better. We are a bit below our target, but they know what they need to improve.

“What we have done over the past four years speaks volumes about our program and the hard work these young people have put in over the years. I have no doubt that they will continue to work. They want to come back here. »

Contact Kerry Patrick at [email protected]



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