St. C. golfers finish fifth in state

COLUMBUS – Saturday was a much better day for the St. Clairsville Red Devils’ golf team.

After posting a score of 352 during the opening round of Friday’s Division II state tournament at the challenging and downright difficult Ohio State University’s Scarlet Course, the Red Devils bounced back with an impressive 327 to finish with a score of 679, which earned Rick Oberdick’s squad a fifth-place finish, which is an improvement from their 2011 appearance.

“We didn’t shoot well on Friday, but the guys just relaxed, went out and played (on Saturday),” said St. C. head coach Rick Oberdick. “The guys knew they had nothing to lose and just went out and played their games.”

The Red Devils received a message from their coach during dinner Friday night.

“I told the kids I wanted them to be able to walk off the course proud of their last 18 holes of golf,” Oberdick continued. “Coming into the season, we had two goals. We wanted to get (to state) and do better than we did last year. We accomplished both of those.”

Every member of St. C.’s lineup improved their score from Friday’s round, which allowed seniors Adam Jeffries and Zach Keylor to finish their careers as second-team all-Ohioans.

Jeffries – the southpaw – shot an opening-round 82 and followed that with an 80 for a score of 162.

Keylor, who was the medalist in last week’s district tournament, struggled on Friday with a 85, but posted a solid round of 8-over 79 to join his teammate on the all-state squad.

Senior Jared Burghy made the greatest improvement on the team. After firing a 96 on Friday, Burghy improved by 10 shots.

Senior Caden Myers improved by seven shots by virtue of posting a round of 84.

Junior Seth Vannoy posted a round of 85, which was a nine-shot improvement from Friday.

“These kids have just been class acts for their entire careers,” Oberdick said. “We’ve got an excellent group of kids. They’re not just great golfers, but they’re kids of great character. I received so many compliments from parents and members of other teams this weekend it’s been unbelievable. To get those (compliments) it meant a lot.”

The Red Devils finished ahead of East Liverpool, which came into Saturday’s round in third place. The Potters finished sixth in the state.