Mission accomplished: By carding a school-record 36-hole team score, the Yorktown Patriots qualified for the state tournament for the first time since 1995.
The high-school golf team did so by finishing second with a 296-296–592 total at the 6D North Region tournament, played Oct. 4 and 5 on the par-72 Algonkian Region Park golf course in Sterling. The top two teams advance to the Virginia High School League’s Class 6 state tournament.
The Langley Saxons won their fifth straight region crown with a 283-282–565 total. The Chantilly Chargers finished third with a 615 score, well behind Yorktown.
Yorktown also finished second in the region during the previous season. However, the team did not qualify for states because the field was reduced to include just the region champions as a result of COVID restrictions. The Patriots felt a bit cheated, and set a goal to qualify for states this fall.
“All and all, I played well, but we came through and qualified for states. This is what we wanted,” said Yorktown junior golfer Benjamin Newfield, who shot 4-under 70-70–140 to finish third individually in the region.
Newfield has played in the state tournament as an individual the last two seasons, winning the title as a freshman and finishing second as a sophomore.
“It will be a super-fun experience to go to states as a full team,” Newfield said.
Finishing fourth in the region tournament for Yorktown was Charlie Lamb at 70-71–141. Trevor McAndrews shot 78-77–155 to tie for 12th, Tony Newell tied for 14th with a 77-79–156 total, Rowan Foose shot 78-83–161 and Aidan Langley 89-81–170.
Yorktown’s region team scores improved from a week earlier when the Patriots shot 303-302–605 to finish second to Langley in the Liberty District tournament.
“Making it to states was the big picture all season, and in the end the players did what they wanted and were supposed to do,” Yorktown coach Chris Williams said. “The first day, we treated it like a one-day tournament. We really wanted to play well to take away some of the stress the second day. They came through and did that.”
Williams believes a key to Yorktown’s success was doing a few things differently this season, like not spending every day of the week playing or practicing golf. Instead, the Patriots would have a fitness or workout day, and on another play the popular fast-paced backyard game called Capture the Flag.
“COVID has changed everything, and the way we do things,” Williams said. “I think it worked.”
Wakefield High School’s Esteban Knorr shot 76-70–146 to finish sixth in the region and qualify for the state tournament for the second straight season. Also from Wakefield, Andrew Burd had an 87-82–169 score. Washington-Liberty’s Andrew Spitzer shot 79-81–160.
NOTE: Back in 1995, Yorktown also finished second in the region to qualify for states, where the Patriots placed fourth with a 340-340–680 total. Andrew Kennedy led the Patriots at states by shooting 79-80–159 and winning a sudden-death playoff to finish third.