7 pm: 64°FSunny

9 pm: 58°FClear

11 pm: 50°FClear

1 am: 46°FClear

More Weather

Chesapeake golf rolling; next up is District Tournament

Oct. 03, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

CHESAPEAKE, Ohio -- Back in mid-August, the Chesapeake High School golf team won the Ironton Invitational at Ironton Country Club by 27 strokes over Portsmouth. Nick Duffield of the Panthers was the medalist with a 72.

Coach Terry Kimball thought that might be a sign of things to come, and the Panthers have proven him right.

Chesapeake went on to win the Portsmouth Invitational at Portsmouth Elks, finish second to Cabell Midland in the Duke Ridgeley Tournament at Guyan Golf and Country Club and breezed to a 28-shot win in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament at Shawnee State Park in Friendship, Ohio. It was the fourth straight OVC crown for the Panthers.

In dual matches, the Panthers beat Huntington High and split with Gallipolis. The Panthers played home matches at Esquire Golf Club in Barboursville.

"I knew if everybody was solid, we'd be OK," Kimball said. "You don't want to curse yourself."

Chesapeake cleared a big hurdle last week in the Ohio Division II sectional tournament at Shawnee State Park. The Panthers and Gallipolis both shot 322 to tie for first. Duffield shot 78, Shane Stevens 83, Eric Sias 84 and Seth Waggoner 87. A tie-breaker was needed. The best score by the fifth man for the two teams decided the outcome. Drew Oxley overcame four penalty strokes to shoot 88 for Chesapeake and Sean Saltzgaber carded a 96 for the Blue Devils to give the title to the Panthers.

Jacob Henson is another member of the Chesapeake team.

"I tell the kids the big thing is every shot counts," Kimball said. "That's where the team concept comes in and paid off."

Next stop for Chesapeake is Wednesday in the District Tournament at Pickaway Country Club in Circleville, Ohio. Gallipolis also qualified along with Portsmouth, Hillsboro and Jackson. The top two teams and top two individuals not on those teams will advance to the Division II State Tournament, Oct. 12-13, on Ohio State's Scarlet Course in Columbus.

"That's where we want to be," Kimball said.

The Panthers last played in the State Tournament in 2006. Two years ago, Logan Elm edged them by a shot to make it to Columbus.

Top district contenders include Gallipolis, Unioto and Fairfield Union.

Kimball said good out-of-season work has contributed to a successful 2012. Players got in plenty of practice and competed in Tri-State Junior Golf Circuit, Top Flite Junior Tour and AJGA tournaments.

"We've been on a good run. These are phenomenal kids to be around," Kimball said. "Nick's playing well. Seth's been solid all year. Eric's really come on. Drew came through when we needed it."

Duffield won the Boys Division title in the 2011 AJGA Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior at Bellefonte Country Club with a 7-under-par 63 in the final round.