Shears leads South to 5A championship

WHEELING – Parkersburg South’s Adeena Shears took a laid-back approach as she approached her one-hole playoff with University’s Eric Wirth on Thursday for Ohio Valley Athletic Conference 5A medalist honors.

“Do your best, it’s all you can do,” she said.

It’s a pretty simple approach.

To win?

“It would be pretty cool,” Shears said.

It must have been really cool, considering Shears is the first female OVAC 5A individual champion.

The golfers set up the playoff by shooting even-par 72s.

After sinking a 7-foot putt to force a second playoff hole, Shears coolly landed her second shot 15 feet behind the pin, needing only to two-putt from there for medalist honors, which she did with ease.

Wirth had landed his second shot just off the far side of the green, and needed two more shots to hole No. 18 on the Robert Trent Jones-designed course at Oglebay Park.

It ended what was a big day for South, which also took home team honors, beating Wheeling Park 305-312.

“We’ve had a pretty good 10 days,” Parkersburg South coach Sherry Morris said. “After we won the TRAC (the Patriots also beat Wheeling Park), I told the kids we could do this. Keep doing what you’re doing. We needed three rounds in the 70s and they hit their mark.”

South’s No. 1 seed, Alex Schreckengst had a 74 and Noah Smith finished with a 79. Garrett Dailey had an 80.

Park came close. Freshman Kyle Wensel had a 74, defending state champion Cole Hand had a 76, Freddie Fitzsimmons a 79 and Dylan Wojcik an 83.

Shears admitted she was surprised to win the top spot.

“I guess that is always a goal, but I really didn’t think I’d be in position to do that,” she said. “I thought somebody would shoot under-par and win it. I was just focused on just doing my best to help the team win.”

She did better than that, shooting even-par golf, and realized she was on to a good round after the par-5 No. 14.

“I found out my score was (1-over) and I was like, ‘Huh, that’s a pretty good score,” she said.

Wheeling Park’s Hand, who won the state title on the Jones course a year ago, had a rather rough day at the office.

“I grinded it out,” Hand said. “I’d been away from golf for 15 days. I went Elk hunting in Colorado and just got back Sunday. I came out and played some and I was pretty confident coming in. I got in some trouble on the front nine and finished with a 43.”

He rebounded with a 33 on the backside, including birdies on three of his final four holes.

“To finish with a 76 is pretty respectable considering how poorly I played on the front side,” Hand said.

While disappointed, Hand said his main goals were still in sight.

“It would have been nice to win the team title, it would have been our sixth straight, and it would have been nice to medal, it would have been my second,” Hand said. “But the main goal is the state tournament and that’s still ahead.

South had other plans Thursday.

University’s Wirth said his day wasn’t spoiled because he finished runner-up.

“I’m not upset at all,” Wirth said, after posing for a picture with Shears off the side of No. 18. “Adeena is a really good player, and it’s my (18th) birthday. My day isn’t ruined at all.”

The obvious question for Shears was what it was like to beat the guys.

“I like the competition,” Shears said. “I always feel like the guys are more respectful than when I play with girls. You wouldn’t think it would be that way, but it is.”

Parkersburg South (305): Adeena Shears 72, Schreckengost 74, Smith 79, Dailey 80.

Wheeling Park (312): Wenzel 74, Hand 76, Fitzsimmons 79, Wojcik 83

University (321): Wirth 72, Wheeler 74, Voithofer 80, Weigand 95.

Cambridge (356): Wilkinson 81, Roederer 86, Fildner 92, Bruner 97.

Beaver Local (367): Newlin 85, Carr 90, Moore 94, Hidebrand 98.

Brooke (370): Lojszyk 82, Teaff 89, Petrosky 99, Gilham 136.

Morgantown (387): Hames 89, Green 99, Burnette 99, Tanner 101.

Edison (413): Marsh 97, Pendleton 99, Boyd 105, Woodward 112.

Indian Creek (421): Dailey 97, Foldi 98, Rouse 103, Freshwater 123.

John Marshall (436): Blake 100, Masters 109, Pettit 110, Griffith 117.

All-OVAC (Top-5 Finishers)

1. Adeena Shears, Parkersburg South (72), 2. Eric Worth, University (72), 3. Kyle Wenzel, Wheeling Park (74), 4. Alex Schreckengost, Parkersburg South (74), 5. Cale Wheeler, University (74)