From left, members of Lancaster High’s golf team are coach Rich Ford, Patrick Kelley, Shawn Valdrighi, William Clarke, Nick Nonnemacker, Alex Nelson and assistant coaches Ned Goode and Don Nelson. Photo by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi
In his fourth year as head coach, Ford returns four of his five players, but lost four from last year’s team including graduated seniors Colton Hayden and Andi Mayer.
Anchoring the team and playing in the number one spot is returning state qualifier Alex Nelson, a sophomore. Nelson has been the low scorer for Lancaster in all four of its first matches and was the individual medalist in two. He averages a 76.
Patrick Kelley is also a sophomore returner, while Ford’s senior class includes Nick Nonnemacker and Shawn Valdrighi. Freshman William Clarke is a newcomer.
“This is a building year, a pure building year,” said Ford. “We’ll be getting the younger guys ready for their junior and senior years and will be revamping some swings.”
Lancaster has won two of its four matches, both against Mathews. In its season opener against the Blue Devils on August 12, Nelson had the match low 38 on nine holes at Lancaster’s home course, the Golden Eagle. He led Lancaster to a team score of 193, 25 strokes better than Mathews’s 218.
Valdrighi shot a 47, Kelley a 48 and Nonnemacker a 60.
Jake Jackson recorded the team low for Mathews with a 39.
The Devils also beat Mathews at Piankatank last Friday with a team score of 195. Nelson shot a 35, Kelley a 44, Nonnemacker a 52 and Clarke a 64. Jackson shot a 46 for Mathews, which had a team score of 215.
In a Northern Neck District match last Wednesday, Larkin Gross shot a 3-under-par 68 as the individual medalist. He led host Essex to a 326 team score at Hobbs Hole to win the four-team match.
Carter Morgan shot a 73 for the Trojans, Daniel Clark had an 81 and Charlie Bussler a 104.
Northumberland was second in team scoring with a 339 and was led by Brandon Walker with a 78. Matthew Harris shot an 82, Adam Parker an 89 and Trent Newsome a 90.
Rappahannock was third with 383 and was led by Lance Wheeler with a 78. Chance Herbert shot an 88, Austin Scott a 101 and Seth Elborn a 116.
Nelson shot a 6-over-par 77 to lead Lancaster, which was fourth with a 386. Kelley had a 90, Nonnemacker a 104 and Valdrighi a 115.
The four district teams met again on Monday at the Golden Eagle with Essex winning again with a 326. Carter shot the team low with a 73, Larkin had a 77, Clark an 84 and Bussler a 92.
Northumberland had all four of its scorers break 100 with Walker shooting an 85, Harris an 86 and Parker and Brendan Saunders scoring 99 each. The Indians were second with a team score of 369.
Wheeler shot an 82 and Herbert a 91 to lead Rappahannock to third place with 377. Adam Campbell had a 99 and Elborn a 105.
Nelson shot a 79 for the low for Lancaster, which had a team score of 428. Kelley shot a 102, Nonnemacker a 115 and Clarke a 132.
The Devils will travel to Quinton Oaks Golf Course today for an 18-hole match against Rappahannock. Tee time is 1 p.m.
August 22 at Rappahannock, Quinton Oaks Golf Course
September 5 at Rappahannock, Quinton Oaks Golf Course
September 10 at Essex, Hobbs Hole Golf Course
September 12 Northumberland, Golden Eagle Golf Course
September 17 Rappahannock, Golden Eagle Golf Course
September 19 Essex, Golden Eagle Golf Course
September 24 Northumberland, Quinton Oaks Golf Course
September 30 Northern Neck District Tournament, Golden Eagle
October 7 Region A Tournament Piankatank
October 14 Group A Tournament Shenandoah Valley