• 63°

Chargers earn 3rd straight regional title

Central High School’s varsity golf team earned an impressive three-peat Monday, clinching its third straight Virginia High School League Class 1 Region B Championship.

The Chargers have won each title in progressively more dominant fashion.

In 2017, they shot an 18-hole score of 344, beating Stonewall Jackson High School, of Quicksburg, by 11 strokes. In 2018, they shot a 336, beating William Campbell High School by 21 strokes.

On Monday at The Manor Golf Club in Farmville, the Generals were once again Central’s nearest competitor, but this time the Chargers won by 44 strokes with a team score of 324.

“It’s pretty awesome,” Central Head Coach Richard McDaniel said of his team’s three-peat with increasingly dominant scores. “Winning’s always better. I enjoy being around the game either way, but it’s pretty awesome to see the kids have a winning record and some winning seasons.”

On Monday, William Campbell finished with a 368, Riverheads High School shot a 377, Cumberland County High School shot a 396, Altavista Combined School produced a 410, Rappahannock County High School generated a 511 and Surry County High School registered a 533.

The Chargers’ top-four individual scorers, who combined to produce the 324 team score, all placed in the top-five among all individuals competing in the tournament, earning each of them all-region status.

“They did well,” McDaniel said. “Cole (Williams) had a really good back nine today. He shot a 33 on the back nine.”

Williams, a senior, finished with an 18-hole score of 74. It was the top individual score in the tournament, which meant he repeated as the Region 1B Player of the Year.

Central junior Hogan Whitlow produced the second-best individual score of the event with a 78, senior Austin Hall was third-best with an 85, and freshman Robert Hite was fifth-best with an 87.

To go with his second straight James River District Coach of the Year honor that he received recently, McDaniel became the Region 1B Coach of the Year on Monday for the third consecutive year.

“That goes to the winning coach,” McDaniel said of the regional golf coaching honor. “The district Coach of the Year is actually voted on. It doesn’t have anything to do with where you finish in the district. Not to take anything away from any of it, but the district award means a lot to me because it’s voted on by the other coaches.”

The Chargers will now prepare for the 2019 Virginia High School League Class 1 State Tournament, which is set for Tuesday, Oct. 15, at the Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech in Radford. Central will be among eight teams competing, including two from each region. The first tee times in the 18-hole event will be at 8 a.m.

“We’ve finished third the last two years, but the courses are a little tougher, the competition’s tougher,” McDaniel said. “If we play really well — I won’t say perfect, but really well — I’d like to think we could at least maybe move up a notch and get into second place, because the competition is just really stiff at that level from what I’ve seen the last couple years.”

He said he expects the top teams to be familiar powerhouses. George Wythe High School, of Wytheville, won last year, and Auburn High School won the year before.