Poca has been close three straight years, finishing second by three strokes in 2011 and 2012, and by five in 2010.
"Like I told them last year when they handed me the runner-up trophy, I said I don't want the thing," said Smith, who is in his 28th season as coach at Poca. "I want the other one you're holding there. I hate being second. Like they say, it's the first loser. I want to win the big trophy for the kids, reward them for what they've done."
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THE CHASE FOR Class AA medalist comes down to a handful of players, including one of the longest hitters in the field - Ritchie County senior Sydney Snodgrass.
A girl has never been medalist in any class, but Snodgrass - who won the West Virginia Women's Amateur this past summer - will be playing in her third State Tournament. She earned All-State last year by finishing in a tie for seventh, and was 10th in 2010. The top eight players and ties earn All-State.
The Rebels, who won the Class AA state title in 2010 and 2011 - her freshman and sophomore seasons - beat Roane County by three strokes in the Region 1 championship.
Of the All-State players last year, four are in this year's field - Spears (medalist in 2012), Ike Judy of James Monroe (5th), Snodgrass (T7) and Cam Moore of Roane (T7).
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SISSONVILLE senior Taylor Schmeck makes is first appearance at the State Tournament after shooting a 77 in the Class AA Region 4 championships at Big Bend Golf Course last week.
Schmeck is the first Indian golfer to qualify for the State Tournament since Matt Sisson in 2007. Sisson shot a 167 to finish 13th that year.
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GRAFTON (2005, '06) and Ritchie County (2010, '11) are the only Class AA teams to win back-to-back titles in their division since the tournament was separated into three classes in 2002. They also are the only teams to win Class AA three times since then.
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at richstev...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4837.