Photo by Jay Bennett
Wheeling Central junior Ryan Costanzo turned in a card of 77 on Tuesday to finish with runner-up honors at the W.Va. Class A Region I Golf Tournament at Mingo Bottom. The Knights finished second as a team to qualify for the state tournament.
WIRT COUNTY — Look who’s back.
The Wheeling Central golf team qualified for the W.Va. Class A state golf tournament on Tuesday for the first time since winning the state title in 2018.
The Maroon Knights finished with a score of 237 to earn runner-up honors, while St. Marys was victorious with a 236 at the Region I Tourney at Mingo Bottom.
“Our goal was to qualify for state,” Central coach Jim Mortakis said. “Winning the region would have been nice but the most important thing is we’re playing next week and we’re looking forward to getting back to state.
“We have five great kids who can play and they’ll have a great opportunity to show what they can do.”
Leading the way for the Knights was Ryan Costanzo, who fired a 77 to finish second overall.
“I’ve been happy with the way he’s played all year,” Mortakis said. “He has continually gotten better and he didn’t get himself in any trouble. He lipped out a couple of putts, so he probably could have gone even lower but his play was solid.”
OVAC runner-up and last year’s state runner-up Justin Doerr shot an 80, as did teammate Nate Woods.
“I think Justin makes all of our kids better,” Mortakis said. “He is a leader who works hard on his game and the other kids see that.”
Woods is a senior who also brings leadership qualities to the team.
“He’s a good kid,” Mortakis said of Woods. “He hits the ball well and he has a lot of fun. He gets along well with all the other kids and he is taking on a bit of a leadership role. He gets the younger kids more involved in the game, so it’s nice having a senior and it’s nice having him. He’s a great kid.”
Luke Tiu turned in an 88 for Central, while Tyler Consolidated was led by Mason Nichols, who was in contention with an 85, followed by teammates Landen Miller (91), Chandler Ash (92) and Luke Deaton (112).
Paden City’s Will McGinnis shot a 96 and teammate Liam Clements carded a 133.
Magnolia was led by Faith Yoho who turned in a 109, while Drew Clegg charted a 115, Cooper Poe supplied a 119 and Andrew Heil added a 121.
St. Marys’ Brandon Lawhon was the overall medalist with a 75 and Blake Lewis of Parkersburg Catholic qualified as an individual with a 79.
Williamstown’s Gavin Bosgraf also qualified for state with an 80 after beating Ritchie County’s Logan Hilkey in a playoff.
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