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Comets golfers face big week

It’s time for the Halifax County High School golf team to get down to real business.

The Comets face an important week, a week that starts with today’s Piedmont District Championship Tournament at Westlake Country Club in Hardy and concludes with Thursday’s four-team Division 5 Conference 16 Championship Tournament at Hanover Country Club.

Today, the Comets will compete for the Piedmont District title, and with Tunstall High School, Franklin County High School and the Comets being the kingpins of the district, today’s district tournament should be a dandy.

While today’s district tournament is big, it has no bearing on whether the Comets will move on to post-season competition. That issue surfaces on Thursday, when the Comets will face Patrick Henry High School of Ashland, Albemarle High School and Orange High School in the Conference 16 tournament at Hanover Country Club.

The Comets must either win or finish second in Thursday’s tournament if they are to qualify for the 5A North Region Championship Tournament as a team.

However, it’s first things first for the Comets – and that is today’s Piedmont District Tournament, which tees off at 10 a.m.

“We’re all looking forward to Monday,” remarked Comets Head Coach David Graham.

“It’s going to be a dogfight because Franklin County and Tunstall High School have won most of the matches this season. We’ve been one step behind them, but we haven’t been that far behind. If we can do on Monday what we did here at home this past Monday, I’ve got a feeling we will surprise some people. “

The Comets posted a team score of 302, its best team score of the season, in last Monday’s Piedmont District match against GW and Magna Vista High School at Green’s Folly Golf Course.

“We’re capable of doing that at any golf course,” Graham pointed out.

“That’s good to know. We’re looking forward to it.”

The Comets golfers are no strangers to the Westlake Country Club course. As members of the former Western Valley District, the Comets faced Franklin County High School there during regular-season play and competed at that course in the Western valley District Championship Tournament.

“Most of our kids have played Westlake,” Graham pointed out.

“We’ll put together a game plan. We’ll sit down and talk about on which holes we need to do this or do that. If they do what we put together, I think we’ll do very well.” 

Comets golfer Peter Gasperini said the Comets are in good shape heading into today’s district tournament.

“We’re hitting the ball fine,” he said.

“Coach Graham and Jimmy (assistant coach Jimmy Clay) are helping us a lot. The better we do, the better we play mentally. That’s what going to be the difference.”

Teammate Josh Irby says he feels good about the district tournament.

“I’m playing well and the team is coming together well,” Irby pointed out.

“Everybody is playing up to their potential. I feel good about going and possibly winning the tournament.”

Irby said he is looking forward to competing against Franklin County High School again.

“We love playing Franklin County,” he remarked.

“It’s kind of a rivalry that has built up over the years. I think we can win it.”

Joey Gasperini said he is looking forward to today’s tournament, the last opportunity the Comets will get a chance to top Tunstall High School and the team’s only chance to face Franklin County High School this season.

“We’ve got a lot of confidence going into it, and I’m real excited,” Gasperini said. 

“I think we can take both Tunstall and Franklin County if we play well. If we can get a fourth man to step up for us we can do real well.”