If golf carts had rear view mirrors, that’s where the PCHS Warriors would have seen the other teams last week in Elkins. The Warriors breezed through a three-way match at the Elks Club Golf Course and finished with a 32-stroke advantage over the second place team.
The Warriors scored 178; a good Tygarts Valley team scored 210; and the Petersburg Vikings came in third with a 224.
Head Coach Phillip Anderson said the team started off strong and didn’t let up.
“We started on a par-5 hole,” he said. “Brandon [Wilfong] eagled, then my second, third and fourth golfers birdied that same hole. That’s good golf. That makes you feel good as a coach, when you have one guy eagle a hole and the other three birdie it, starting off.”
The lopsided win is more impressive because the match was on somebody else’s turf.
“There’s a huge advantage to play on your home course in golf, because you know how the ball will roll,” said Anderson. “You know where to hit the ball. You’re used to it. You know the positions. For us to go over there and beat them on their home course, that’s pretty impressive. That doesn’t usually happen.”
PCHS sophomore Brandon Wilfong shot a 41; junior Matt Rao, 41; senior Stephen Mick, 43 and sophomore Austin Sharp, 53. Senior Cody Grimmet led the Bulldogs with a 47. Freshman Lucas Berg was the best-shooter for the Vikings with a 44.
The Bulldogs were 2-1 coming into the Elkins match. Anderson expects Tygarts Valley to be tough opponents this season.
“Tygarts Valley is very strong this year,” said Anderson. They have a group of seniors who are dedicated to the game and they are a team to watch this season. They’re coming on strong and they have determination. They really want to get to states.”
The rivalry between Pocahontas and Tygarts Valley is a friendly one.
“Coach [Mitch] Channel has actually helped us out with a lot with matches,” said Anderson. “Tygarts Valley and Pocahontas are big rivals in other sports. In golf, we’re very competitive with them. We don’t want to lose to them but it’s not really a rivalry. They’re friends, moreso than other sports. I think that’s good for the kids, that they’re developing friendships at other schools.”
In a home match at the Raven last Tuesday, PCHS defeated Tygarts Valley and Trinity-Morgantown, but it was a much closer contest. PCHS edged out the Bulldogs by three points, 197 to 200. Trinity came in third at 210. Wilfong led all golfers with a 38. Mick shot a 52; Rao, 53 and Sharp, 54.
The Warriors seem to be shoe-ins for the state tournament, but the coach is taking things one match at a time.
“We have a great bunch of boys this year,” said Anderson. “They’re focused and determined to win. They don’t seem to be intimidated by anybody.”
They don’t use golf carts, either.
The Warriors’ next match is on Monday at 4 p.m. at the Raven Golf Course.