IRVINGTON — Robert E. Lee’s golf team is the state champion.
Tuesday afternoon on the Golden Eagle Golf Club course, the Leemen edged East Rockingham 661-671 to capture the Group 2A state title in the two-day, 36-hole event.
Lee defeated the Eagles to win both the Conference 36 and 2A East Region crowns. But the score at the state competition was the closest margin of the three.
Lee entered Tuesday’s play with just a 2-stoke advantage having posted a 330 first round to East Rockingham’s 332. The Leemen fired a 331 over the final 18 holes to the Eagles’ 339, resulting in the 10-stroke victory.
Giles County finished third with a 335-340-675 while Appomattox was fourth with a 349-334-683.
For Lee, it’s the school’s first state golf championship since 1981. The team finished second last season.
Leading the way for the Leemen was senior Jordan Plogger who shot a 78-80-158.
Banner Robson was the second counter with an 84-80–164 while Jesse Bartley carded an 85-84–169.
Gunner Cook and Thomas Otteni shot identical 84-87–171 scores.
Lee’s other golfers competing at the state were Madison Davis and Austin Rehfield.
East Rockingham’s second-place finish was led by Jacob Laughlin who carded a 77-79–156. Other counters were Alex Czerwinski (170), Jake Czerwinski (176) and Harrison Smith (179).
“This is definitely the toughest golf course we’ve ever played on since I have been coaching,” Lee coach James Corbett who is in his fifth year, said. “It was set up extremely tough. It was truly a team effort from top to bottom.”
Plogger, the defending individual state 2A champ, led the way with his 158 which was good for fifth place. He earned all-state honors by finishing in the top six. Low medalist was Hunter Shelton of Chatham with a 154.
“He had a couple of days where the putts were not dropping for him,” Corbett said of Plogger. “But he found a way to tough it out to finish fifth.”
Five of Lee’s seven golfers are seniors and they have been with Corbett throughout their careers.
“I’m proud of the entire team,” he said. “It was a culmination of efforts over several years.
“With this group, we’ve now had 10 championships, counting Valley District, conference, regional and state.
“This was a perfect way to say goodbye to all those players. We will miss them very much.”