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Fighting Tigers capture district crown

PORTSMOUTH – Just when you thought their reign had been overthrown, the Ironton Fighting Tigers regained their crown.

Thursday, October 07, 1999

PORTSMOUTH – Just when you thought their reign had been overthrown, the Ironton Fighting Tigers regained their crown.

During the past four years, Ironton has won the Division II sectional and district championships and qualified for the state tournament. And in the four trips, the Fighting Tigers won three state titles and finished as runners-up.

Four of the top five golfers graduated and are playing college golf, so it’s easy to see why Ironton would become an also-ran this year.

Wait a minute. Don’t step off that throne so quickly.

Ironton proved the experts wrong Tuesday as they captured their fifth consecutive Div. II district golf championship in a tightly contested match.

Ironton and the favored Wheelersburg Pirates each finished with 312 team scores, but the Fighting Tigers got the championship when fifth man Andy Brown shot an 82 and Wheelersburg’s fifth man Mike Adkins had an 85.

"This one is more satisfying and exciting because we weren’t supposed to be in this position when the season started," Ironton golf coach Bill Washburn said. "We were young and we only had one golfer back. And the interesting thing is when you look at the other team scores around the state, we have a chance to be competitive."

The state tournament is schedule for Friday and Saturday, Oct. 15-16, at Ohio State University’s Scarlet Course. The top two district qualifying teams advance.

Senior Brad Washburn, the only veteran on the Ironton team, shared team honors with junior Adam Rudmann as they each shot solid rounds of 77. Washburn had a 41 on the front nine when he double-bogeyed his final two holes, but he bounced back to shoot a par 36 on the back nine.

Zach Christian and Bo McGinnis each shot a 79 to go with Brown’s 82.

"Brad really bounced back after those two bad holes. Other than that, he played pretty well," coach Washburn said. "McGinnis played well. That’s the first time he’s shot under 80 on that course, and the other kids really stepped up and played the way they’re capable. It was a total team effort."

The Fairland Dragons, who upset Wheelersburg in winning the sectional, finished third with a 325 score.

Taylor Stillpass and Matt Hansford each shot a 76 to lead the Dragons. Brad Mayo was next at 86, Kyle Leadman had an 87, and Josh Dunfee carded an 88.

Rounding out the district team scores were Wellston at 331, Sheridan 332, New Lexington 336, Unioto 338, Washington Court House 342, and Zane Trace 365.

"It was competitive. After nine holes, only six strokes separated the nine teams," coach Washburn said.