CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It might seem like the Poca High School golf program is always the bridesmaid, because since 2010 that's exactly what the Dots were.
For the last three years, Poca has finished second in the team results of the Class AA State Golf Tournament, but that's not what keeps Coach Doug Smith going.
Even after retiring in June from teaching health and physical education at Poca, the 64-year-old Smith isn't as concerned about winning a state title for himself.
That's why he's stuck around and is in his 28th season as coach.
"When you have kids who have put that much into it, played that well and get that close, it bothers me," said Smith, whose Dots will seek a berth in the State Tournament in Monday's Class AA Region 4 championships at Big Bend Golf Course in Tornado.
Poca and Scott are heavily favored to earn spots in the State Tournament Oct. 8-9 at Oglebay Park's Robert Trent Jones Course in Wheeling. The two lowest-scoring teams and the two lowest-scoring individuals not on those teams from Monday's regional qualify for the 36-hole State Tournament. The regional field includes Chapmanville Regional, Clay County, Herbert Hoover, Mingo Central, Nicholas County, Tolsia, Sissonville and Wayne.
The Dots lost the 2010 title to Ritchie County by five strokes, although Poca's George Hamrick claimed Class AA medalist honors.
In 2011, it was again the Rebels to stop the Dots. Poca trailed by eight strokes after the first round, but lost by three. Hamrick's 2-under 69 on the second day vaulted him to medal honors for the second consecutive year.
Last year the Dots led by three strokes entering the second round, but lost to Roane County by three. Travis Covert - joined by Alex Hamrick as the only two Poca players to compete in last year's State Tournament - finished third.