WHEELING, W.Va. -- Things are falling in line for Charleston Catholic in Class A at the State High School Golf Tournament, but there was a bit of a snag in Wheeling Park's plans to win a third consecutive Class AAA championship.
In Class AA, Poca took the first-day lead with a score of 246 in its quest to give Coach Doug Smith his first title in 27 years guiding the Dots.
The final 18 holes on the challenging par 72, 6,673-yard Robert Trent Jones Course at the Oglebay Resort could lead to a photo finish.
"Tomorrow is going to be interesting," said the 63-year-old Smith, who plans to retire from teaching at the conclusion of this school year.
It shouldn't be that way for the Irish, who have five titles but none consecutively. Coach Bill Gillispie's team has a score of 236, 15 strokes ahead of second-place Madonna.
Last year's Class A medalist Christian Casingal shot a 75, with the 2011 runner-up, Aaron Persily, shooting a 76 for Catholic. Buffalo's Cory Hoshor's 79 represents the only other sub-80 score.
"We can't let the idea of winning it in one hole get to us," Casingal said. "We just have to play solid."
Two-time defending Class AAA champion Wheeling Park has the leader in sophomore Cole Hand with a 72 and junior teammate and two-time defending Class AAA medalist Thadd Obecny with a 73.
However, the Patriots' No. 3, freshman Dylan Wojcik, broke a club after hitting it against his bag, leading to a disqualification. While Wojcik is permitted, by rule, to return for the second round, Coach Don Headley opted instead to bring his No. 5, Hunter Bryan, to play in Wojcik's spot today.
"He just hit it against his bag and hit it in the wrong spot and it broke," Headley said. "Our five will play (today)."
The Patriots trail Region 1 rival University by four strokes, hardly an insurmountable margin even with the Hawks having three players scored in the 70s.
"We're OK," Headley said. "Our one and two guys are playing well, we just have to get a good score out of our three and four."