It was another outstanding season of prep golf in the Ohio Valley.
It came to an end last Saturday when St. Clairsville capped its season with a fifth-place showing in the Division II State Golf Tournament in Columbus.
Prior to that, there were low rounds, birdies and several tense moments during the 2012 campaign, which leads us to today's unveiling of the All Times Leader Golf Team, which honors 13 of the area's top players and two coaches who led their teams to impressive seasons.
PICTURED IS the 2012 all Times Leader Golf Team. Kneeling, from left, are Zac Riggenbach, Chase Stuckey, Kaitlyn Bliss, Andrew Chlon, Taylor Shane (Martins Ferry) and Trevor Mudrak (Union Loca). Standing, from left, are Coach Ron Gill (Bridgeport), Jonathan Kreiter (Bridgeport), Adam Stupak (Shadyside), Caden Myers, Adam Jeffries, Jared Burghy, Zach Keylor, Seth Vannoy and Coach Rick Oberdick (St. Clairsville).
St. Clairsville's all-Ohio duo of Zach Keylor and Adam Jeffries have been named co-captains of the team.
Red Devils' retiring head coach Rick Oberdick and Bridgeport's Ron Gill, who led the fairly young Bulldogs' program into its best season to date share the coach award.
Here's a capsule look at the honorees:
ZACH KEYLOR, St. Clairsville - This senior put the finishing touches on a brilliant prep career with an all-Ohio finish.
The smoothy righthander earned all-state by posting a two-day score of 163 at the state tournament. He was the medalist at the district tournament the week prior. For the season, Keylor averaged a team-low 37.8 for 9 holes. He was also the Buckeye 8 medalist this season.
"Zach has led the team over the past four years," Oberdick said. "His scores have been the most consistent. His knowledge, patience and skill on the course has made him one of the better players around."
ADAM JEFFRIES, St. Clairsville -This senior made the greatest strides of any of the Red Devils' players during his prep career.
His improvement was rewarded with a second-team all-Ohio finish at last week's Division II state tournament in Columbus. The southpaw finished with a two-day score of 162 to finish tied for ninth in the state. He was first-team all-Buckeye 8 and was the medalist at Spring Hills Fall Classic with an under-par round of 69.
"Adam improved more than eight shots from his freshman season to this year," Oberdick said. "Adam is a very talented athlete and when golf became a passion, his game improved steadily. We sometimes call him 'money' because when he is hot, he's very good."
CADEN MYERS, St. Clairsville - This Red Devils' senior was a model of consistency during his career.
Myers improved by four shots from his freshman to senior season after posting a 40.6 average this year. He was a second-team all-Buckeye 8 performer and had strong showings at the state and district tournaments.
"Caden has been a steady player for the past four years," Oberdick said. "His scores have always been solid and helpful to the team. His district and state scores were essential for the team's success. He's a little hidden from the limelight, but always an important element to the team."
JARED BURGHY, St. Clairsville - This senior mainstay gave the Red Devils a distinct advantage most days in the fifth player spot.
Burghy - a four-year letterman - improved by nearly six shots from his freshman season by averaging a 40.7 for 9 holes. He was a first-team all-OVAC and second-team all-Buckeye 8 performer during his career.
"Jared is absolutely the best fifth player anywhere," Oberdick said. "He improved impressively over his four years."
SETH VANNOY, St. Clairsville - This Red Devils' junior stepped right into the Devils' lineup and allowed the team to go on without missing a beat.
Vannoy posted the third best average on the squad with a round of 39.3 for nine holes. He had an impressive round at the district tournament to help the Devils earn the trip to the state tournament.
"Seth was quite a gift," Oberdick said. "Replacing Brice Holler was going to be difficult, but Seth stepped in and showed what a competent golfer he was. His 77 at the district was very big. He'll be the leader of the team next year. He is not only expected to lead with his score, but also by developing the younger players."
ADAM STUPAK, Shadyside - This Tiger senior put the finishing touches on a brilliant four-year career.
Stupak averaged a score of 36 for nine holes en route to earning all-OVAC and all-OVGL honors this season. He was a district qualifier as a junior and narrowly missed a trip this year.
"It's been a pleasure coaching Adam and seeing him improve year to year," said Shadyside head coach Mike Beck. "His play and his leadership will definitely be missed. He was one of our top golfers as a freshman and continued to improve each year."
TAYLOR SHANE, Martns Ferry - This senior had an impressive career for the Purple Riders, qualifying to a pair of district tournaments.
Shane averaged 38 for nine holes and 77 for 18 holes. He had 28 birdes, a fairway percentage of 67 percent and 65 percent for greens in regulation.
He was named to the all-Buckeye 8 squad and earned medalist at the OVGL Tournament.
"Taylor had a stellar career and season for us this year," said Ferry head coach Joe Kosar. "He was a steady performer and provided great leadership for the team."
ANDREW CHLON, Martins Ferry - This Riders' senior was a four-year mainstay in the rebuilding of the Purple program.
This past season, Chlon checked in with a 9-hole average of 38 and an 18-hole average of 78. He made 22 birdies and had a 66 percent greens in regulation. He was a solid putter with a 16.3 average for 9 holes and a 33 average for 18.
"Andrew was a steady performer who provided great leadership," Kosar said. "He and Taylor were the vocal leaders and they did a good job of keeping the team loose."
CHASE STUCKEY, Martins Ferry - This senior came through for the Riders in several big tounaments.
Stuckey was the runnerup medalist in the OVAC 4A tournament with a round of 75. He averaged 39 for 9 holes and 79 for 18 with 20 birdies. He, too, was a good putter with 17.6 average for 9 and 35 average for 18. He had a 55 percent greens in regulation.
Along with all-OVAC, Stuckey earned a spot on the all-Buckeye 8 team.
"Chase had a very steady career and season for us," Kosar said. "He had a couple of great performances. He was a quiet leader with his actions and play."
ZAC RIGGENBACH, Martins Ferry - This golf junkie had yet another fine season for the Riders.
He shot a career-low round of 78 to earn all-OVAC last month. He had an average of 41 for 9 holes and 82 for 18. He had nine birdies on the season.
"Zac ate, slept and lived golf," Kosar said. "He has been one of the hardest workers that I've ever coached. He strived to be the best that he could be day in and day out. He really hit his stride in the OVAC Tournament."
KAITLYN BLISS, Martins Ferry - The lone female member of the Lady Riders' squad was a standout throughout her career.
Bliss averaged a 43 for 9 holes and 87 for 18. She had an eagle and 14 birdies this season.
Bliss was an individual qualifier to the district tournament and missed qualifying to the state tournament by a shot.
"Kaitlyn is a very hardworker, who breathed, slept and lived golf," Kosar said. "When she's not studying for school, you'd find her at a local course working on her game. She had a tremendous career and a great season."
TREVOR MUDRAK, Union Local - This four-year mainstay has been the Jets' top player each of the past two seasons.
Mudrak was one of the Jets' top four scorers in every match he ever participated in. He was the unquestioned number one player this past season, posting a 40.08 stroke average for nine holes. He was named to the all-Buckeye 8 squad.
"Trevor dedicated himself to becoming a golfer from before the time he was even in junior high," said UL head coach Mark Hissrich. "He spent countless hours on the course, driving range and putting green improving his game. In addition, I've never had a golfer with more dedication and love for the game than Trevor."
JONATHAN KREITER, Bridgeport - This four-year regular worked his way into a solid leader for the Bulldogs' program, which is still relatively young.
Kreiter averaged 40 per nine holes and, according to his head coach Ron Gill, he boasts an impressive short game. He was a medalist five times this season.
"Jonathan was our most consistent player," Gill said. "He hit the ball long and straight off the tee. He's going to be a big loss for our program."
RICK OBERDICK, St. Clairsville - The Red Devils enjoyed another impressive season under this head coach's guidance.
Oberdick finished his seventh and final season at the helm of the Devils' program with a 550-81 record. The Devils advanced to the state tournament for the second straight season and finished fifth. They were second in the OVAC, sectional and district tournament. St. C. also won the Buckeye 8 and Spring Hills Invitational.
"I can't express enough the importance of how well this team worked together," Oberdick said. "They have a real bond and are always encouraging each other. It's been my privilege and a blessing to have coached these kids for the past four years."
RON GILL, Bridgeport - This Bulldog mentor has been at the helm of the program since its inception and has started to see the success.
Gill guided the Bulldogs to a 33-18 record, their best since the program began.
"This is our fourth year for golf and I'm thrilled with the dedication and improvements each and every year," Gill said. "We look to continue to be a solid competitor in the league next year, too."