BY JOHN CONLEY
Westside golf is blazing new paths.
The Renegades placed second at Monday's Class AA Region III at Grandview on Monday, qualifying for next week's state tournament in Wheeling.
This is the first time WHS has advanced as a team.
"I'm tickled to death," said Westside coach Tim Spolarich.
"I just put it in their hands and they knew what they had to do," he added. "I didn't even talk with them much."
WHS fired a 243, just one stroke behind regional champion Shady Spring.
Sophomore Corey Bowles shot a 77 to lead the Renegades.
"I drove the ball really well," Bowles commented. "And my putting was decent.
"Playing conditions were tough," he continued. "It was pretty windy."
Hunter Owens carded an 82, and Tyler Cook finishd at 84. Drew Bragg had an 88.
"I'm excited to be part of the first tea to go to state," remarked Cook, the only senior on the squad.
Bragg says practice paid off.
"We all go out and play every day and that helped us get ready (for tournaments)," he said.
"I hope we can go back every year," Owens stated.
Four players from each team compete in regionals, with the top three scores counting.
Westside finished eight strokes ahead of third place Oak Hill.
"All of these guys are capable of going out and shooting good scores," Spolarich observed. "I knew we had a chance."
The coach credited Clearfork Valley director Toney Bowles for his work with Cook. "That really turned our season around," he said.
Wyoming East finished in the middle of the pack of the 13-team field. Hunter Justus had an 84 to lead the Warriors, who shot 269.
Individual qualifiers for the state tournament were Karson Terry of James Monroe of Evan Smith of Bluefield, who both scored 75.