WHEELING, W.Va. -- The Charleston Catholic golf team put itself in some pretty good company during two days at Oglebay Resort's Robert Trent Jones Course.
The Irish used all of its resources to secure a 473 and to defeat Michael Rogers and Madonna by 10 strokes to earn its third title at the high school State Tournament.
Coach Bill Gillispie's team became the sixth team in state history to win three straight crowns, joining Buckhannon-Upshur (1980-82), Barboursville (1983-85), Bridgeport (1992-94), Huntington (1997-99) and Hurricane (2007-09). Catholic is the first Class A team to win three in a row since the Secondary School Activities Commission added a third class to golf competition in 2002.
"It's special to win one and it's really special to be in that group that includes the Hurricanes and the Wheeling Parks," Gillispie said.
Catholic finished ahead of the Blue Dons, but senior Aaron Persily couldn't overcome Rogers, who shot a 75 in the second round and finished one stroke ahead for individual honors.
Persily finished tied for fourth as a freshman, second by three strokes as a sophomore, second by one stroke as a junior and second by one stroke as a senior.
"Aaron becomes the most accomplished golfer, to date, at Charleston Catholic," Gillispie said. "Three team championships, a runner-up, first-team all-state all four years. Next year, Christian (Casingal) has a chance to top that with four years."
What Gillispie said was just as helpful from Persily as his performance on the course was his leadership. Persily played Wednesday's second round with Rogers, St. Marys' Coleman Lamp and teammate Nick Casingal.
Nick Casingal hit two balls into the water on No. 14, and was consoled by Persily.
"I looked down, through the fairway and saw Aaron put his arm around him," Gillispie said. "That's invaluable, to have a guy at the top who is such a leader and such a team player. That's probably the moment I'll remember the most."
Persily had his chances, but hit his tee shot out of bounds on No. 2 and finished with a six on the par-4 hole. Rogers extended his lead to three strokes with a birdie.
He closed within a stroke later in the round, and saw Rogers' 4-inch tap-in on No. 15 - their last hole - to win it, but the 370-yard second hole gave Persily some ground he had to make up.
"I just wanted to give myself a chance to make the putt," said Rogers, who finished fifth last year. "I hit a solid shot on the green, was probably 15 or 20 feet away. I knew if I made it, he would have a hard shot coming back to make five."
The individual result didn't diminish the accomplishments of Catholic, which graduates only Persily. Junior Christian Casingal struggled to match his 2011 performance that led to medal honors, but he has a chance to become the first player in state history, in any class, to be a part of four state team championships.