OVAC golf tees off Tuesday

The first Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Championships of the school year will be passed out this week at Oglebay Park in Wheeling.

The Speidel and Crispin courses will play host to the annual OVAC Golf Championships, starting with Classes 1A and 2A playing at Crispin and Class 4A playing at Spiedel on Tuesday.

The tournament resumes on Thursday with the 5A schools playing at Spiedel and the 3A schools playing down the road at Crispin.

All the tournaments will begin at 9:30 a.m. and consist of 18-hole rounds.

There will be a separate champion in Class 1A and 2A, but they’ll play together during the round.

Bob Cain – the former head coach at River – serves as the director of that event.

Madonna is the four-time defending champion in Class 1A. Coach T.J. Brancazio’s team is also the favorite for yet another crown, which would be the school’s seventh in its history.

All five of the Blue Dons’ players from 2012 are back after earning all-OVAC honors a season ago, posting rounds under 80.

Those players are Michael Rogers, Nick Mazur, Thomas Gianni, Alex Colantonio and Matthew Lyons.

Other players to watch in Class include: Beallsville’s John Dietrich, Trinity’s John Connor Tampoya, Conotton Valley’s Trey Yosick, Bishop Donahue’s Eric Myers and Paden City’s Levi Meadows.

IN CLASS 2A, Wheeling Central is the defending champion and is led by all-conference returnee Justin Leonard.

The Maroon Knights could be challenged by River, which is led by senior Jason Miller.

Toronto’s John Mike Romey earned all-OVAC a season ago and also returns. Bridgeport is led by Zach Herink.

IN CLASS 3A, Buckeye Trail head coach Mike Castello is the tournament director and his Warriors are also cast in the role of defending champion.

The Warriors are led by Jed Burga, who is their lone returning letterman.

Steubenville Catholic Central has bumped up from Class 2A and is led by frosh Peyton Moore, Austin Meronoft and Mike Francesca.

Linsly should also be in the hunt. David Coram leads Mark Zavatsky’s squad.

IN CLASS 4A, East Liverpool dethroned St. Clairsville last year and both teams are solid once again.

The Potters own an impressive 50-1 record this season, having played in tournaments such as the Cardinal Classic and Warren JFK Invitational. Senior Blake Prince is the Potters’ leader once again. He’s the two-time defending conference champion. Sophomore Isaac Davidson has also been impressive.

Joey Cilone and Ryian Burson also took part in last year’s OVAC and state tournaments.

The Red Devils are led by senior Seth Vannoy, who was a solid performer last season. Nate Teater has also swung the clubs well for the Devils.

Other players to watch include: Meadowbrook’s Nate Frencik, Damon Moore and Zach St. Clair; Martins Ferry’s Taylor Shane, Harrison Central’s Austin Kowalski and Ian Saho and Union Local’s Tristan Bruce.

IN CLASS 5A, Wheeling Park is the only team to ever hoist the trophy in that division. All told, the Patriots have won five consecutive big-school titles.

The Patriots can expect a challenge from fellow TRAC members Parkersburg South, University and Morgantown.

A new individual medalist is assured. Thadd Obecny isn’t enrolled at Park any longer as he focuses on his future career at Central Florida