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They made it as a team.
They lost it the same way.
In a sport that is the epitome of individualism, Jefferson Forest's golf team showed the value of teamwork.
As a result, the Cavs made it nearly all the way to the summit of state golfdom. In a fiercely contested two-day tournament, the champions of district, conference and regional tourneys were edged out of a State crown by a trio of strokes.
Jamestown took the top prize:
Jamestown 302-303 = 605
Powhatan 306-302 = 608
Jeff Forest 304-304 = 608
Loudoun Co. 313-315 = 628
Powhatan then took home the second-place trophy in an anti-climactic playoff round.
As usual, Jefferson Forest got good, solid play from its duffers. In fact, Zeke Shen carded a two-round total of 73-73/146, which was tied for the second-best performance by any golfer. Erik Dulik (of Dominion, which didn't qualify for team play) nailed a 141, which made him top dog.
After Shen, the Cav contingent finished thusly:
-Matthew Stanley 74-77/151
-Brian Touna 76-77/153
-Brad Huddleston 81-77/158
-Landon Moore 85-83/168
-Griffin Hughes 86-87/173
For each team, the top four performances each day went toward the final score.
A good show
Jefferson Forest started out the second day at Heritage Oaks two strokes behind Jamestown. "We were hoping for bad weather to offset some of the length advantage that Jamestown had, with two very exceptional girls on the team," said JF Head Coach Garnet Manley.
Indeed, the gals started on the white tees, while the lads used the gold tees. That meant the ladies played about 85% of the guys' distance.
Alas, Manley's hope didn't come to fruition.
Jamestown was able to sustain its slender lead throughout the day. The Cavs hoped to see the Jamestown crew falter on the 18th hole, a challenging par-5. But Christina Herbert (#2 on the team) birdied the hole with a long put, and #1 Trevor Temps made par for the win.
"I feel disappointed that we came up short and didn't get that State trophy," said a dejected Shen. "For a championship, we had to play great golf. But we only played mediocre."
Indeed, had the Cavs matched their regional-winning score of 299 on Day 2 at States, the tin would have been theirs to take home.
But that result was an anomaly, not to be repeated on consecutive weeks.
Manley had nothing but praise for his charges. "The guys had put so much time and effort into this late-season run, that they were exhausted," he said.. "They left everything on the course...and it came down to the last hole."
Shen, however, seemed remorseful. "It's hard to look at the positives," he said. "I really wanted to win it with this year's team," said the junior. "I felt we were as much a team as any other team I've seen."