NSA takes golf title

Published 10:21 pm Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Zach Roberts, Thomas Meyers, Trey Wren, Will Comer, Keith Cooper and Jackson DeMello of the Nansemond-Suffolk Academy golf team were crowned state champions on Monday in Farmville.

Zach Roberts, Thomas Meyers, Trey Wren, Will Comer, Keith Cooper and Jackson DeMello of the Nansemond-Suffolk Academy golf team were crowned state champions on Monday in Farmville.

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy has had longstanding success in the sport of golf, but what the school’s team did on Monday makes it seem like NSA may have a dynasty on its hands.

For the second time in the last three years, the Saints were enthroned as VISAA Division II state champions.

“It was everything that I thought it should be,” NSA head coach Katie Murphy said of Monday’s match at The Manor Golf Club in Farmville. “It was a duel to the finish.”

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Once again, as in 2012, Greenbrier Christian Academy was NSA’s strongest opposition. But this time, Greenbrier came much closer to spoiling it for the Saints.

NSA was up by five after the top three pairs had finished, leaving it to sophomore Thomas Meyers to preserve the win in his final two holes. He struggled on No. 17, allowing the Gators to creep three strokes closer. They gained one more on the final hole, but that was it, and the Saints won 314-315.

“We did just enough to hold on,” Murphy said. She acknowledged Meyers’ high score, but praised him, noting she said to him, “That’s going to be the best 86 of your life — 86 that won the state championship.”

She was named Coach of the Year at the conference and state levels in the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association.

“To have that kind of accolade and to get that, it feels really good, but I owe that all to them,” Murphy said, referring to her players. “A coach is a reflection of their players.”

After producing the top individual score on Monday — a two-over-par 73 — Saints senior Trey Wren was named the VISAA Division II Player of the Year.

“To do that in my last high school golf tournament, that was pretty special,” he said. “I birdied the last hole to beat Alston Newsom by one.”

Wren was one of five NSA players earning his second state championship.

“This was definitely a little better for me personally, because the first one, my score didn’t count,” Wren said, as only the top three scores on a team counted toward the team score back then.

Junior Keith Cooper was excited to get a second title.

“It means a lot, especially sending Trey off with a victory,” he said.

Cooper recovered from a poor showing at the conference championship to make the all-state team by placing among Monday’s top nine individual finishers, shooting a 76.

“It always feels great to be all-state, to know that you’re on an elite team, that you have the ability to beat most of the players in Virginia in high school,” he said. “It was a great bounce back.”

Junior Will Comer, who shot a 79, echoed Wren’s thoughts when comparing this state title win to the one in 2012.

“The second one felt a lot better, because I made the all-state team … and my score was one of the counting scores,” he said.