Chesapeake wins sectional; Hayden, Thornhill advance

Published 1:30 am Friday, September 27, 2013

Jim Walker


FRIENDSHIP — Five was the magic number.

The top five teams and top five individuals at the Division II sectional golf tournament qualified for the district tournament.

The Chesapeake Panthers won the sectional title at Shawnee State Park with a 335 total, two shots ahead of Wheelersburg. Portsmouth was third at 347, Gallipolis was fourth at 352 and Piketon was fifth with a 355 total.

Ironton’s Jaylen Thornhill was among the top five individuals as he qualified with an 83. Teammate Cory Rawlins missed advancing by a single stroke. Rawlins finished with an 88.

“Jaylen did a great job of recovering from a tough opening nine. He had a few bad holes to put himself in a tough spot at the turn, but he put that behind him and qualified with some room to spare. That’s something he’s worked on, so I’m proud that he was able to do it in a big spot,” said Ironton coach A.J. McKnight.

“Cory played his best round of the season. “He took a two-stroke penalty that was borderline or he would have qualified for the district as well. I’m proud to say that he handled a tough situation with a ton of class.”

The top five individual qualifiers were Jordan Tieman of Portsmouth West with a 79, James Hayden of Fairland with an 81, Thornhill, Daniel Heffner of Waverly with an 86 and Tristan Willbanks of Lynchburg Clay with an 87.

Ironton finished with a 391 total as a team. Mitchell Weisgarber and Mason Slagel each shot a 110.

“As a team we were right around where I felt we would be,” said McKnight. “I knew getting out as a team four be tough for us this year, but all of our boys come back next year so this gives us something to build on.”

Thornhill is a junior, Rawlins a sophomore, and Weisgarber and Slagel are freshmen. Ironton also returns sophomore Luke White and freshmen Trevin Dutey, Trevor Hacker and Chandler Dodson.

“Looking back to where we were in August, I’m very satisfied with the improvement all of our kids made. Most of them were brand new to the game,” said McKnight.

Chesapeake team members are Drew Oxley, Shane Stevens, Derek Lemley, Jacob Henson, Austin Hutchison and Kobe McWhorter.