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Champion ‘Foresome’

LANCASTER — The Ironton Fighting Tigers didn’t mind seeing the Marietta Tigers walk away with five awards for “best supporting golfer.”

You see, Ironton walked away with the golfing Oscar for best team.

The top 14 golfers were named All-SEOAL. Marietta had five golfers on the All-SEOAL team, but only the top four scores are counted from the five-man teams toward the team scores.

The Fighting Tigers top four scores proved to be too much balance for Marietta to overcome as Ironton claimed its second-ever Southeastern Ohio Athletic League golf championship Tuesday at Valley View Golf Course.

“No one played phenomenal golf, but everyone played solid. That’s the beauty of team golf. We played a very solid tournament,” said Ironton golf coach Jeff Kerns.

Senior Nathan Kerns shot a one-over 72 to lead Ironton and was all-league for the second straight year. Sophomore Andy Holtzapfel shot a 74 to join Kerns on the All-SEOAL team again.

Freshman Josh Zornes was next with an 81, sophomore Josh Mullins had an 82 and sophomore Mason Weisgarber shot an 83. Sophomore Josh Cooke finished with a 93.

Nathan Kerns, the team’s lone senior, was not only happy to win in his final try, but he was excited for his teammates as well.

“It feels good to have someone around you to play well. We all worked together today. I’m proud of them. It’s nice to go out this way,” he said.

Coach Kerns echoed the sentiments of his son.

“I’m really proud of the boys today,” said coach Kerns. “We finally had all of them playing well on the same day.

“Everything came together well. Nobody handed it to us. There are a lot of big schools in our league and a lot of good golfers.”

Jackson junior Morgan Dobbins shot a three-under par 68 to win league medalist honors for the second time. He also earned the honor as a freshman.

Nathan Kerns was one of the favorites to win medalist honors, but he double bogey on No. 5 was just enough to leave him fourth. He started with four pars and played one-under the last 13 holes.

“I’m proud of that achievement because I had to grind it out,” said Nathan Kerns. “I had every intention of our team winning the league championship. We really pulled together. We knew we could do it and we stepped up to the challenge.”

Coach Kerns praised all his players.

“Mullins and Zornes played consistent, and we got good play out of Andy,” said coach Kerns.

“Nate’s like a machine. He’s always around par. He didn’t have his ‘A’game, but his ‘B’ game is better than most. He had to work his tail off to shoot 72 and he did.”

Ironton (55-12) plays a tri-match Wednesday at Shawnee Golf Course.

SEOAL Golf Championship

Team scores

1, Ironton 309; 2, Marietta 313; 3, Zanesville 320; 4, Warren 323; 5, Jackson 324; 6, Logan 329; 7, Gallipolis 339; 8, Portsmouth 354; 9, Chillicothe 420.

Ironton (309): Nathan Kerns* 37-35=72, Andy Holzapfel* 38-36=74, Josh Zornes 42-39=81, Josh Mullins 38-44=82, Mason Weisgarber 41-42=83, Josh Cooke 44-49=93.

Marietta (313): Zach Arnold* 39-41=80, Nick Huggins* 40-37=77, Derek Howe* 39-39=78, Scott Tebay* 37-42=79, Ian Smith 43-49=92, Eric Mullins* 41-38=79.

Zanesville (320): Chase Wilson* 33-37=70, Brandon Mills* 38-35=73, Kurt Young 41-43=84, Connor Hansgen 49-44=93, Jeff Bowers 49-53=102, Alex Beach 49-68=117.

Warren (323): Brandon Fivecoait* 38-38=76, Andrew Long 41-42=83, Levi Thompson 42-41=83, Jordan Coffman 43-43=88, Ian Zoller 41-40=81, Chase Barrows 43-45=88.

Jackson (324): Morgan Dobbins* 33-35=68, Nick Cantor 43-42=85, Dylan Newsom 41-44=85, Anthony Malone 40-46=86. Alec Ray 46-56=102, Justin Henry 51-51=102.

Logan (329): Daniel Wagoner* 39-41=80, Mitch Harden 43-38=83, Randall Kunkler 42-42=84, Kelly Barrell 41-41=82, Kris Cummings 43-41=84, John Buchman 43-47=90.

Gallipolis (339): Kymal Dayal 42-42=84, Jordan Cornwell 46-43=89, Nick Saunders* 39-39=78, Corey Hamilton 42-50=92, Kyle Rhodes 42-46=88, Warren Patrick 47-55=102.

Portsmouth (354): Stuart Doll* 37-34=71, Evan Sommer 44-45=89, Thomas Clifford 56-43=99, Ian Rowland 50-46=96, Eli Sanford 56-55=111, John Khoury 50-48=98.

Chillicothe (420): Ian Dennis 52-47=99, Corey Demick 52-46=98, Cory Hancock 57-54=111, Christian Snyder 55-57=112, Danny Sneddon 60-53=113.