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Cav linksmen go for gold

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Win 4A-North first-ever title

By Mike Forster

 

There's no superstar.

But the results have been stellar.

Jefferson Forest's golf team continued its impressive march by winning the 4A-North region last week.

Not only did the victory make the Cavs the first-ever champions of the newly created 4A-North, it put them in the running for a 4A State championship, along with four other teams.

The linksmen of Forest played their usual, steady game in becoming the only squad of the eight-team field at Harrisonburg's Heritage Oaks Golf Course to break 300.  Scores are aggregated from the four top (of six) golfers from each team.  Conference affiliation is noted in parentheses:

4A-North team results

Jefferson Forest (24)       299

Loudoun County (21)     310

E.C. Glass (24)           312

James Wood ((21)           316

King George (22)           326

Charlottesville (23)         333

Louisa County (23)         342

Fauquier (22)           348

 

These Cavs have really made golf, always thought of as a game of individual accomplishment, about the team.

They didn't produce the event's medalist.  That honor went to Erik Dulik, of Dominion, who was playing solo.

But, Jefferson Forest's Brian Touna had the best score of any school that fielded a team there.  

He didn't let a trio of bogeys bother him.  His final three holes included an eagle and two pars.  Talk about a cool customer!

Touna's 71 (which earned him All-3A-North honors) was two strokes better than James Woods' Will Holmes, the next best team-based golfer.  (There were 23 individualists at the event.)

More importantly, Touna (who was golfing #2 for JF) was five strokes better than Loudoun's #2, Parker Graham and four strokes better than E.C. Glass #2, Jimmie Massie

The entire JF slate played out that way.

Zeke Shen (JF's #1) carded a 75, which was a mere stroke more than Loudoun's Paul Odenwaldt and four strokes better than Glass's Connor Burgess.

Shen shook off the early effects of being in the first group to tee off in the blustery conditions on the course.  He shot a 39 on the front nine before settling in for a 36 on the back.

Matthew Stanley (JF #3) hit a 76, five strokes ahead of Loudoun's Jake Cunningham and one better than Glass's Prescott Terrell.

Landon Moore, who rounded out the JF scoring with a 77, was 14 strokes better than Loudoun's Zack Bolyard (though the Raiders used their #6 player's score) and six better than Hilltopper Gray Wiley, though Glass went with #5 Branson Terrell's 79.

JF's Bradley Huddleston (#5) and Griffin Hughes (#6) turned in superb rounds of 82 and 83.  Those scores were better than over half of the team-qualifying scores of the event.  Another way of looking at it is: Five of the eight teams would have been benefited from having Huddleston and Hughes golfing for them that day.

By the way, the 16th hole was especially kind to the Cavs.  That was the hole on which Touna eagled.  Huddleston, Stanley and Moore all birdied that same par-five hole. 

JF Head Coach Garnet Manley was gracious in victory, quickly giving credit to his team's biggest foe.  "Our weekly competition with cross-town rival EC Glass has served to make us stronger," he said.  "We hope it somehow helps us to have faced such a worthy adversary, on a weekly basis."

Jefferson Forest (4A-North champs) will have played Jamestown (4A-South champs), Powhatan (4A-South runners-up) and Loudoun County (4A-North runners-up) on Monday and Tuesday (after press time) at Heritage Oaks for the title.

We hope to be reporting good news next week.