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Barnesville cruises to OVGL title

WHEELING — The focus of area prep golfers is about to change.

The regular season wrapped up Thursday at the sun-drenched Crispin Course at Oglebay Park with the Ohio Valley Golf League Championship tournament.

As it has for much of the season, Barnesville reigned supreme over the 10-team field. The Shamrocks, who won the OVAC on the same course last week, finished with a 312 to win by 27 shots over St. Clairsville. Magnolia finished third with a 343 and Martins Ferry was fourth at 345.

The Shamrocks’ score wasn’t as strong as it was during the OVAC, but Robinson expected there would be a bit of a letdown.

“I am always a little concerned when we play the second time on a course that quick,” Robinson said. “We played extremely well last week (in the OVAC), so I thought we’d probably not play quite as well, but the kids were still extremely solid.”

Barnesville was undefeated in league play matches for the second straight season, but came up short in the championship event to St. Clairsville last season. Robinson definitely used that as motivation for his squad.

“We had two OVAC champions competing here last year and it was one of the best high school matches I’ve been involved with,” Robinson confessed. “They beat us in a tight one. Each week I’ve tried to present the kids with a new challenge. Last week, we wanted to repeat as OVAC champions, which had never been done at Barnesville and this week since we didn’t win the OVGL last year, we wanted to accomplish that. Now, we’re looking, to my knowledge, to win our first sectional tournament.”

The Shamrocks were led by three all-league players. Jim Byler posted a 75 to lead the Shamrocks, while Payne Johnson and sophomore Carter Wells checked in at 77 and 78, respectively.

Barnesville has jumped up to Division II this season and will play on Monday at Cadiz Country Club with Johnson set to tee off at 9 a.m.

The individual title went to Martins Ferry junior Luke Krol. He signed for a round of 1-under 70 and still needed to play a 19th hole before being crowned the champion.

Magnolia’s Trey Blain rolled in an impressive eagle putt on the 17th green to pull even with Krol, who had led most of the round.

On the extra hole, Krol posted a par, which was good enough for the win.

For Krol, it gives him the Ohio Valley trifecta of golf tournament titles. He’s been the medalist at Buckeye 8, OVAC Class 4A and now the OVGL.

“I call it the triple crown,” Krol laughed. “But, really, it was definitely one of my goals to win all three of those events.”

Krol played in a group with Blain, Johnson and St. Clairsville’s Will Foster. All of whom played well and earned a spot on the all-OVGL squad.

“I definitely have to give credit to those other guys because they’re all talented and it takes a lot to beat them,” Krol said. “It was a good, fun round of golf out there.”

Indeed.

Johnson, who won the OVAC Class 3A medalist last week, was fourth in the group. Foster checked in with a 76 to earn all-league.

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