Blue Devils, Chapman advance to district golf

By Paul Boggs -

The Blue Devils did it again.

That’s because Gallia Academy, for the ninth consecutive season, is advancing to the Division II boys district golf tournament — following Tuesday’s third-place finish in the sectional meet at the Portsmouth Elks Country Club.

Meanwhile, for the second straight season, Meigs junior Levi Chapman has qualified for the Division II district golf meet as an individual.

By shooting a 79 at the Chillicothe Jaycees Golf Course on Tuesday, Chapman placed third overall — as the top five individuals not on a qualifying team move on to the district round.

Gallia Academy is one of those five qualifying teams from the Portsmouth Elks sectional, firing a team total of 342 — with all five Blue Devils shooting 88 or better.

In fact, all five qualifying clubs at Portsmouth from a year ago are returning to the Division II district, which will be held on Wednesday (Oct. 5) at Crown Hill Golf Club.

Piketon, with a team total of 304, posted a 32-stroke sectional championship victory — the Redstreaks’ third in a row.

Waverly was the runner-up with a 336, while Gallia Academy — the sectional runner-up the past two years — was third.

Portsmouth West was fourth with a 363 and Portsmouth placed fifth with a 374.

For the Blue Devils, senior Miles Cornwell led the way with an 82 — firing a 43 on the front side and a smooth 39 on the back.

Two juniors — Taae Hamid and Kaden Thomas — immediately followed with an 85 and 87 respectively, while seniors Jeremy Brumfield and Josh Davis each shot 88.

Hamid had a 43-42 card and Thomas a 42-45, while Brumfield went 45-43 and Davis the exact opposite.

All five Blue Devils posted individual scores within the top 20.

The top four individual scores at the sectional meet count towards the team total.

There were 13 teams which posted team scores at Portsmouth, while River Valley — with only three golfers — was the 14th team and did not post a team score.

For the Raiders, sophomore Aaron Burke shot a 94 — with a 46 on the front nine and a 48 on the back.

Senior Grant Gilmore, in his final match, had a 103 — with a 51 and a 52.

Sophomore Gabe Gilmore tallied a 60 and a 62 for a 122.

Fairland and Ironton ended up sixth and seventh with team totals of 378 and 380 respectively, as Rock Hill was eighth at 410.

Rounding out the team scores at Portsmouth were Wheelersburg with a 424, Minford with a 450, Wellston with a 464, Northwest with a 491 and South Point with a 526.

Piketon, which had all five of its players post top-10 individual scores, was paced by the match medalist — D.J. Graham with a 73.

In fact, of the top 22 individual finishers, 17 of them were members of a district qualifying team.

All five individual qualifiers were representatives of an Ohio Valley Conference school, of which Gallia Academy is a member.

That fivesome includes Logan Reed of Rock Hill with a 76, Reece Bellville of Fairland with an 85, Beau Taylor of South Point with an 88, Mihkail Auxier of Fairland with a 90, and Mitchell Weisgarber of Ironton a 92.

At Chillicothe, Chapman’s 79 was four strokes better than his sectional tournament score from last season.

He fired a 40 on the front side and a 39 on the back at the Jaycees, and trailed only Costa Coconis of Sheridan (72) and Brian Chaney of Zane Trace (77) for match medalist honors.

The other four individual qualifiers were Brad Walker of Westfall and Kyler Mount of Washington Court House with identical 81s — along with an 82 by Trevor Newkirk of McClain and an 83 by Cord Ebert of Logan Elm.

As a group, the five-member Marauders placed eighth with a team score of 367, as Chapman was followed by Wyatt Nicholson with an 88 and Bryce Swatzel with a 99.

Bobby Musser with a 101 and senior Chase Whitlatch with a 103, in his final match, rounded out the Maroon and Gold.

The top five teams at Chillicothe were all within 27 strokes of one another, as Sheridan edged New Lexington — 323 to 331 — for the team championship.

Unioto clipped Fairfield Union — 336 to 339 — for fourth, while Zane Trace took the fifth and final qualifying spot with a 350.

Westfall and Logan Elm each shot 355, followed by the Marauders and their 367.

There were also 14 teams in the Chillicothe sectional, which was rounded out by Washington Court House (369), Circleville (376), McClain (395), Alexander (428), Vinton County (429) and Nelsonville-York (591).

Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106

By Paul Boggs