CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio — Almost. But there is a silver lining.
The Gallia Academy golf team was just two shots away from a return trip to the state meet, but the Blue Devils will still be represented at the Scarlet Golf Course next weekend following Wednesday’s Division II District Championships at Pickaway Country Club.
GAHS senior Rob Canady was one of two golfers to earn an individual spot in the Division II state finals next Friday and Saturday at Ohio State University, as he and Chesapeake’s Nick Duffield earned co-medalist honors with matching 6-over par efforts of 77.
Andrew Harley of New Lexington won district medalist honors with a 76 and is also headed to state as an individual qualifier.
As a team, the Blue Devils finished in a tie with Fairfield Union — as both squads posted identical scores of 331. Gallia Academy had a better score from its fifth score to win the tiebreaker for the three-spot.
GAHS — which shot a 322 last year on this same course while earning district runner-up honors — finished one shot back of second place Chesapeake (330) and three strokes off the pace set by repeat champion Unioto (328). Both the Shermans and the Panthers advanced to the state championship as teams.
Canady will be making his second straight appearance at the D-2 state tournament and has one week left in the season. For the rest of the area golfers, however, the campaign has come to an end.
Senior Brady Curry followed Canady with a round of 80, followed by Dares Hamid with an 86 and Sean Saltzgaber with an 88. Bruce Moreaux served as the winning tiebreaker with an effort of 93. GAHS had four birdies total on the day — three from Canady and one from Curry.
Meigs senior Treay McKinney capped his prep career with a round of 87, while River Valley freshman Logan Sheets carded a 96 in his first district postseason. Neither the Raiders nor the Marauders had had a district qualifier in golf since the 2007 season. Craig Jagers was the last golfer at RVHS to accomplish that feat, while Steven Stewart did the same for MHS.
Sam Calvin led Unioto with a 79, followed by Colton Forcum and Caleb Cushin with respective efforts of 80 and 84. Trent Huston clinched the district team title with an 85.
After Duffield, the Panthers received matching 84s from Shane Stevens and Drew Oxley. Eric Sias completed the team tally with an 85, while Seth Waggoner added an 86 for the runners-up.
Fairfield Union was led by Devin Munyan with an 80, followed by respective efforts of 81 and 83 from Caleb Herd and Jordan Barr. Colin Jessup fired an 87 to complete the team scoring, but a 94 from Steven Noble ultimately allowed GAHS to clinch third place.
Sheridan (340), Miami Trace (340) and Washington Court House (340) finished five through seven, while Hillsboro claimed the eight-spot with a 358 team score. Portsmouth (361) won the tiebreaker against Jackson (361) for the ninth position in the 10-team field.
In Division III district championship on Tuesday, South Gallia junior Gus Slone had his season come to an end after carding an 86 at Cumberland Trail in Pataskala. Slone is the first Rebel golfer to ever compete at the district tournament.
Columbus Academy won the D-3 team title by tiebreaker, as it and Wellington both finished the day with matching scores of 309. Tree of Life (319) and Sugarcreek Garaway (321) also advanced to state as teams.
Cameron Michalak of Grove City Christian (73), Jeg Coughlin of Village Academy (74), Brent Morgan of Coal Grove (76) and Branden Offenberger of Waterford (77) were the four individual state qualifiers. Michalak and Mark David Wright of Tree of Life shared medalist honors at the D-3 district event.