NR finishes second in tourney

Published 9:27 pm Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lakeland’s Dalton Hoffman hits the ball on the 18th hole during the Southeastern District Tournament on Tuesday at Sleepy Hole Golf Course. Lakeland did not have enough competitive players to qualify for a team score, but Hoffman had a two-day total of 187.

The Nansemond River golf team finished second, and King’s Fork’s Chris Angelelli finished third individually, at the Southeastern District Tournament on Tuesday at Sleepy Hole Golf Course.

The tournament began on Monday and concluded on a blustery Tuesday where the weather was definitely a factor. Nansemond River coach Craig Stephenson could not help but take this into account in his appraisal of the Warriors’ performance.

“They played good yesterday,” he said. “Today was tough for everybody; they did well today.”


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Stephenson identified the keys to his team’s strong performance.

“Just the consistency of the top two all year long, first of all,” he said. “And then our No.-6 guy came in today with one of his best rounds all year. So, that definitely helped.”

The Warriors’ number one, Griffin Genier, finished with a two-day score of 159 and Bryce Strong, their No. 2, finished with 157.

Genier was the only golfer from the Suffolk schools to be named to the All-District First Team, but he was disappointed with his personal performance in the event.

“I feel that I should have played better,” he said. “I mean, I had a chance to win, but I messed up down the final stretch and didn’t come through.”

Strong was positive about his two days, except for the 18th hole to end the tourney.

“I felt good about the first round, this round I was playing pretty good,” he said. “I eagled 17, I holed it out from the fairway, and then I got a nine on (18).”

The No. 6, Ryan Fischer, shot 84 for the day.

As a team, Nansemond River had a score of 654 over both days, second only to Grassfield, which won the tourney with a 647.

King’s Fork came in eighth as a team, just ahead of Lakeland.

“Their game kind of left them today,” Bulldogs coach Calvin Mitchell said. “They were having trouble with the wind, as many of the kids had.”

KF’s No.-2 Griffen Saylor shot a disappointing 91 on Tuesday for a two-day total of 177. He was discouraged, but focused on the future.

“I played really bad,” he said. “I’m going to practice over the summer, hopefully not only make regionals, but states, maybe, next year.”

In practice, KF’s golfers had been working on what is called a knockdown hit, which aims to keep the ball below the treetops and avoid the influence of the wind.

“So, that’s the shot that they had been working on,” Mitchell said, “and that’s the one I hoped they were going to take a lot of advantage of today. I’d say about half of them were able to do that half of the time.”

The Bulldogs’ No.-1, freshman Chris Angelelli, was a real bright spot for the Bulldogs, posting a 77 on Monday and a 79 on Tuesday to total 156 and help him qualify for regionals. He wanted to do better on the back nine during day two, but was happy overall.

“I felt content,” he said. “I did really well on the front, kind of got away from me on the back, but I think I kept my composure and I pulled some shots off to get into the 70s.”

Lakeland did not qualify to score in the event, but their No.-1, Dalton Hoffman turned in a two-day score of 187 to represent the Cavaliers.

Hickory placed third in the tournament, securing the last team spot at regionals. They joined Grassfield and Nansemond River. Those who are part of a team that has already qualified for the regionals are also qualified to compete individually. Genier and Strong from Nansemond River qualified.

The regional tournament takes place on Oct. 1 and 2 at Red Wing Lake Golf Course in Virginia Beach.