Alex Nelson of Lancaster was the individual medalist in the Region 1A East golf tournament last week and will represent the Devils at the Group A state tournament. Photo by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi
Nelson, a sophomore, will make his second trip in two years to the Group A golf championships when he travels next week to compete against the state’s best 1A and 2A golfers at Shenandoah Valley Golf Course in Front Royal. The two-day, 36-hole tournament will be on October 14-15.
Nelson was 5-under-par after 10 holes at last week’s regional and finished two strokes better than individual runner-up Josiah Singleton of William Campbell, who shot a 70. William Campbell won the team title with a low 320 and Parry McCluer was the runner-up with 331.
There were eight teams competing and 16 individual qualifiers. Rappahannock River Conference 43’s champion Essex was third overall, just three strokes behind Parry McCluer with a 334. Rappahannock was fourth with 340.
The top two teams plus the best six individuals not on those teams qualify for the state tournament.
Conference 43 had five of the top six state qualifiers including Nelson, Northumberland’s Matthew Harris, Essex High’s Larkin Gross and Rappahannock’s Chance Herbert and Lance Wheeler.
Nelson, who won the Conference #43 medal last Monday, claimed his second championship in three days after shooting a 36 on the front nine and a 32 on the back. Nelson made the regional and the state tournaments last year as a freshman, winning a three-hole playoff in the region tournament to advance to Group A play.
Nelson and teammate Shawn Valdrighi were the only regional qualifiers this year from Lancaster. Valdrighi, who posted a 48 on his first nine holes, shot a 99 for a middle of the pack finish at Piankatank. A senior, Valdrighi shot a 91 in the conference tournament to qualify for regionals.
“I’m proud of how everyone on the team played at [the conference tournament] and also Alex and Shawn for their play at regionals,” said LHS coach Rich Ford. “Both Alex and Shawn played very well and composed themselves like tour professionals with a lot of grace and smiles.”
Northumberland sent four individuals to the regional tournament with Harris as the lone state qualifier with an 81. He shot a 40 on the front nine and a 41 on the back to slip in for the number six spot among individual qualifiers. Also making the state cut were Wheeler with a 71, Gross with a 73, Herbert with an 80 and Cumberland’s Chase Grubbs with a 79.