The high school golf season will tee off today when the Lord Botetourt team plays host to a Blue Ridge District match at the Botetourt Golf & Swim Club.
Both LB and James River will be busy in the first varsity action of the 2017 fall sports season. Lord Botetourt will be back in action Thursday for another BRD match, this time at Blue Hills with William Fleming as host.
Next Monday, James River debuts as both the Knights and Cavaliers play in the annual Heritage Invitational at the London Downs course in Lynchburg. Over 20 schools are expected to compete in the event.
A week from today, the annual Bob McLelland Metro Tournament will begin, featuring most of the valley high school teams. The two-day event will be played at Hunting Hills on Wednesday and Blue Hills on Thursday, August 10.
High school teams began team practice on Monday, but golf is a sport that never stops for the kids who love it. Brett Pennington, who won the Conference 31 tournament as a sophomore last fall, continued his fine play during the summer season.
“Brett won the Andrew Haley tournament at Smith Mountain Lake earlier this summer and has played well in many tournaments this summer,” said LB coach Todd Smith. Brett also won the Junior Club Championship at Ashley Plantation and was second in the Junior Roanoke Valley Hall of Fame Tournament.
Pennington will man the No. 1 spot this year and returning junior Joseph Crump will move up from three to two.
“Joseph has the ability to play really well and surprise some people,” said Smith. “Hopefully that is the case.”
Sophomore Kyle Lograsso was No. 4 last year and junior Tucker Grimshaw was six, giving LB some good experience in the lineup with four of last year’s top six returning.
“We have a few underclassmen that played some last year that we are hoping they have continued to improve on their game,” said Smith. “We will be adding a freshman, Kaitlyn Mosdell, that should be able to jump into the top six.”
Botetourt should be competing for district honors. The Cavs were second in the conference and district last year.
“With Rockbridge leaving the district and William Byrd graduating a bunch of starters, we are hoping for a strong Blue Ridge District season,” said Smith. “We definitely have two of the better golfers in the district (Pennington and Crump), but the others will have to pick up the slack.
James River has five of last year’s top six returning and is also expecting to have a good season. Seniors Tyler Lester and Tyler Brown return to lead the Knights.
Junior Mitchell Boone will be a strong player for River again this year as well. Senior Jack Bailey and juniors Logan Honts and Dakota Peery will round out the top six.
“We’re slowly building a JV program and this year there is a promising eighth grader, Joey Schroeder, who appears to be the golfer to watch for the future,” said River coach Donna Cox.