Young Bearcat golfers show promise of bright future at season opener


CHARLESTON— The Bearcat Golf Program has officially gotten their season underway, with some returning talent in tow. 

This year’s team is led by head coach Ed Moore and assistant coach Doug Kirkpatrick, with a roster that boasts ten young men: returning players and Grafton High School sophomores Dustin Keener, Aiden Sheme, Wyatt Poling and Brayden Palmer, along with freshman newcomers, Corbin Knotts, Christian Anderson, Gavin Veltri, Brayden Perks, Aaron Gallo and Caleb Stewart. 

On Thursday, the four returning sophomores traveled to the Edgewood Country Club in Charleston and found themselves going head-to-head with 29 teams from around the state, and coach Moore noted that the course was no easy feat. 

Featuring over 7,006 yards of luscious terrain, it is reportedly the only course in the Kanawha Valley area that features bent grass tees, fairways and slick, rolling greens, providing a perfect, but tough, set up for some competitive golf action. 

During the front nine, Poling led the Bearcats shooting a 44, with Keener following closely behind his teammate scoring 45, while Sheme and Palmer each went for 48. 

Sheme was able to find his swing in the back nine, improving his score by two strokes to finish the match with a total of 94. 

Palmer and Poling both ran into some difficulties during the back half, each recording 52 to finish with scores of 100 and 96. 

Rounding things out for Grafton was Keener, while he added three strokes to his score on the back nine, his impressive play on the front assisted him to finish the day with a score of 93. 

The top three scores on the day were combined for each team’s total, giving the Cats a finishing score of 283, better than ten of the 30 teams in attendance. 

“We are a very young team, but they played fabulous golf on Thursday,” Moore commented. “I went into the match just hoping  they would score 100 or better, and they all accomplished that, so it was just a great day of golf for us.” 

And although the team is young, he shared that the future of the program with these boys leading the way, is bright. 

“We’re going to be okay. And here soon, these boys are going to be in Wheeling ready to win a state championship,” he voiced. 

With the first match under their belts, the Bearcats will be traveling to Parkersburg on Monday, August 9, taking to the greens of Parkersburg Country Club.

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