WEST LAFAYETTE — Zanesville felt there was an opportunity to advance from the Division I boys golf sectional Thursday.
Behind four scores in the 80s, the Blue Devils not only moved on, but captured the sectional championship with a score of 331 at par-72 River Greens.
The top three teams and individuals advanced to Monday’s district tournament at Crown Hill in Williamsport. The Southeast District will send four teams and four individuals, but only one team and one individual will qualify for the state meet.
Nolan Kimberly carded an 80 (41-39) to lead Zanesville, while Jared Ball added an 81 (40-41), J.J. Burns an 82 (38-44) and Jace Ruggerio an 88 (45-43) to round out the scoring.
Zanesville’s last sectional title came in 2007.
“We expected to be in the top three, but for us to win when we didn’t play great shows our kids did what they needed to,” Zanesville coach Jim Rudloff said. “We had some guys scuffle, but they kept their heads together. They weren’t on point, but the kids did a great job.”
Dover came in second (345) and West Holmes third (346) to also advance, while Tri-Valley fell short in fourth (350).
Tri-Valley’s Dalton Crowley moved on as an individual with an 80. The Scotties’ scoring included an 87 from Landon Campbell, an 89 by Kaden Scheffler and 94s from Andrew Shepherd and Austin Dalessandro.
Christian Barto of Carrollton and New Philadelphia’s Dakota Wright each shot 86 to also advance.
The Blue Devils will try to reach the state tournament as a team for the first time since 1967. The last individual state qualifier for Zanesville was Dan Zigo in 1985.
No matter what happens, the Blue Devils at least have a chance.
“I’m proud of how the kids have done their jobs,” Rudloff said. “I felt coming into the season anything less than a district qualification was short of our goals. The margin of error is slimmer now, but we’re peaking at the right time and we have an opportunity.”