On Sunday, October 4, the Pocahontas County High School golf team traveled to Wheeling to compete in the state golf tournament.
Following two days of competition, Charleston Catholic won the state title with a score of 486, Weirton Madonna secured second place with a score of 493, and Wheeling Central rounded out the top three with a score of 498. The Pocahontas County Warriors finished sixth with a score of 578.
Despite their sixth place finish, head coach Phillip Anderson maintained a positive outlook.
“You could say we came in first among the public schools at the meet,” he said. “The first five teams were private schools, and we came in sixth before Greenbrier West and Richwood.”
Junior Brandon Wilfong led his fellow Warriors with an overall score of 164, for which he received All State honors.
“Even though he’s a junior, Brandon [Wilfong] has colleges across the state that are interested in him,” Anderson said. “For most people, they play golf in high school and go off to college. I think Brandon’s career is just starting. I believe that he’ll go on to play with a college scholarship and continue on. He’s a good kid and has a good head on his shoulders.”
Senior Matt Rao shot a 97 on the first day and a 105 on the second day, which gave him an overall score of 202.
“One of his goals was to shoot below 100,” said Anderson, “and he did.”
Junior Brandon Halterman finished with an overall score of 219. Fellow junior Austin Sharp shot a 103 on Tuesday, and on Wednesday, senior Chase Alkire filled in for Sharp and shot a 106 – landing the Warriors a total of 578 for both days.
“It was a great group of boys that I had,” Anderson said. “They were focused, and we had a lot of accomplishments. Brandon Wilfong received All State honors, Matt Rao shot under 100 for a round – which he really wanted to do – and Chase Alkire played in his first state meet.
“The team next year will be better overall. Although we’re losing Matt Rao and Chase Alkire who were our senior leaders and kept the team together – we do have three juniors coming back next year to help us get back to states. They’ve worked hard, this group of young men, for the last three years, and they will continue to work even harder.”
Anderson is uncertain as to whether or not he will return as head coach next season, but he is grateful for the opportunities he has been given.
“It’s been a joy to see them work hard, accomplish their goals and win matches,” he said. “They’ve put in a lot of hard work to get to where they’re at, and I think that they’ll be even better next year. I’ve enjoyed being their coach.”