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Comets Golfers Gain Experience

“Our scores weren’t what we wanted, but you can’t put a number on experience.”

That, says Halifax County High School head golf coach David Graham, is how he looks at the Northwest Region Golf Tournament played Thursday at The Piedmont Club in Haymarket.


The Comets golf team, making its first appearance in the Northwest Region Tournament as a team in 10 years, finished eighth in the eight-team field.
Nevertheless, Graham said the Northwest Region Tournament was a good experience for his team, which will have five of its top six players back next season.
“I don’t look at this as a disappointment,” Graham said of his team’s effort.
“It was a great learning experience for our players. What we got out of it is valuable experience that will help us tremendously next year.
“Our players need to understand what it takes to play a higher level of golf at that next level,” Graham continued.
“I’ve been there and know what it takes to play golf at a higher level. I think the kids have a much better understanding now of what it is going to take for them to play a higher level of golf.”
The Comets, the second seed out of the Western Valley District, turned in a team score of 366. Cody Spencer led the Comets’ effort with a round of 82 on the par 72 course. Senior Coy Lawson followed with a round of 84.
“Cody played well,” Graham pointed out.
“He had a tough time on the front nine (holes) but came back strong on the back nine with a 38. The cutoff for qualifying for the state tournament was an 81 and there was a playoff for that final spot. Cody had a chance to make it but bogeyed two of the last three holes. Still, he did a great job. He didn’t give up and battled back on the back nine and had a good score.”
Graham said he was also very pleased with Lawson’s effort.
“Coy also had a tough time on the front nine,” Graham said.
“But, he didn’t give up. Coy kept battling and grinding it out and came in with a 40 on the back nine. The experience he got playing in the regional tournament last year helped him a great deal. I was proud of the way he stayed with it and came back on the back nine.”
T.J. Daniel’s round of 99 and Tayler Tepper’s round of 101 also counted towards the Comets’ team total. The four best scores from among the six players on each team are counted wards the team total.
Kaitlin Fallen turned in a round of 112 and Blake Jones, who played in place of Parker Harrell who could not make the trip, carded a round of 120.
Graham insisted that he was not disappointed with his players and their effort.
“This was not a disappointment,” Graham said.
“I hoped our kids would play well. I know what it takes to do well out there in that level of competition. I don’t think they quite understood it. This experience can only help them. I think they understand now what they have to do to play well on this level.”
Only one player from the Western Valley District qualified to advance to the Group AAA State Golf Tournament which will be held October 19-20 at The Waterfront Country Club in Moneta.
That golfer was Franklin County High School’s Josh Neal. Neal birdied the 18th hole during a three-man playoff to land a spot in the state tournament. He was one of three players that carded an 81 to tie for the final individual spot in the state tournament.
Loudon Valley High School won the Northwest Region Tournament with a team total of 314 and host Battlefield High School placed second with a team total of 318. Those two teams will represent the Northwest Region in the Group AAA state tournament.
Andrew Lister of Battlefield High School was the medalist in the Northwest Region Tournament. His round of 71 made him the only player to beat par.

Northwest Region
Team Results
Loudon Valley High School – 314
Battlefield High School – 318
Albemarle High School – 329
Franklin County High School – 340
Forest Park High School – 346
Mountain View High School – 347
Woodbridge High School – 356
Halifax County High School - 366