Mission accomplished: With a team record 36 holes, 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. 4-5 at the Algonkian Region Park par 72 golf course in Sterling. The top two teams advance to the Virginia High School League Class 6 State Tournament.
The Langley Saxons won their fifth consecutive regional crown with a total of 283-282-565. The Chantilly Chargers finished third with a score of 615, well behind Yorktown.
Yorktown was also second in the region last season. However, the team did not qualify for the States as the field was reduced to only include champions from the region due to COVID restrictions. The Patriots felt a bit cheated and set a goal of qualifying for the States this fall.
“Overall I played well but we qualified and we qualified for the States. That’s what we wanted,” said Yorktown junior golfer Benjamin Newfield, who shot at 4. under 70-70-140 to finish third individually in the region.
Newfield has played in the state tournament as an individual for the past two seasons, winning the title in first year and finishing second in second year.
“It will be a super fun experience to go to the States as a full team,” Newfield said.
Charlie Lamb was fourth in the regional tournament for Yorktown at 70-71-141. Trevor McAndrews shot 78-77-155 to tie for 12th, Tony Newell tied for 14th with a total of 77-79-156, Rowan Foose shot 78-83-161 and Aidan Langley 89-81-170.
The Yorktown area team’s scores improved from a week earlier when the Patriots shot 303-302-605 to finish second behind Langley in the Liberty District tournament.
“Getting to the United States has been 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 wanted to play really well to take the stress out of the second day. They came and did this.
Williams believes that one of the keys to Yorktown’s success has been doing things differently this season, such as not spending every day of the week playing or golfing. Instead, the Patriots would have a fitness or training day, and in another game, the popular fast-paced garden game called Capture the Flag.
“COVID has changed everything and the way we do things,” Williams said. “I think it worked.”
Esteban Knorr of Wakefield High School shot 76-70-146 to finish sixth in the region and advance to the state tournament for the second straight season. Also from Wakefield, Andrew Burd had a score of 87-82-169. Andrew Spitzer of Washington-Liberty shot 79-81-160.
REMARK: In 1995, Yorktown also placed second in the region to qualify for the States, where the Patriots placed fourth with a total of 340-340-680. Andrew Kennedy led the Patriots in the United States shooting 79-80-159 and winning a sudden death playoff for third.