Bay Rivers District Golf Preview: Jamestown Aims for Third Consecutive State Title is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.

Will Bell led Jamestown to a second-place finish in Tuesday's opening match. (file photo)
Will Bell hopes to lead Jamestown to a third consecutive state title this year. (File Photo)

The 2015 Bay Rivers District golf season is officially underway, and Jamestown – in pursuit of its third straight state championship – is once again the team to watch.

Last year’s Jamestown team went undefeated in Bay Rivers District play, something the Eagles cannot achieve this year having come in second place during the opening match of the year.

Despite the second-place start, Jamestown should be one of the teams toward the top of the district this year.

Closely behind Jamestown will be Lafayette and Tabb, two teams that came up just short of making their respective regional tournaments last year.

With another year of growth under their belts and rosters with experienced starters, both the Tigers and the Rams should be in contention to reach their regional tournaments come the postseason.

Warhill and Grafton will likely be in the third tier of Bay Rivers District golf teams with the Clippers showing potential to work their way into the top half of the standing by season’s end. Grafton will need to live up to the expectations set by Coach Robert Carmines, while Warhill hopes to lean on its depth this year.

Rounding out the Historic Triangle golf teams is York, who Coach Jerry Turner said is due for a rebuilding year. However, the Falcons added new faces to this year’s team who could turn out to be game-changers if the technical side of their game begins to develop before the postseason.

Below are previews for the Historic Triangle golf teams:


Head Coach: Nick Zanca
2015 Classification: 2A Conference 33
Players to Watch: Sam Carr (junior), Zack Calloway (senior), Dylan Jenkins (sophomore), Jacob Cook (junior)

Season Outlook: Coming into his third year as Bruton’s head coach, Zanca said this year’s group is the most driven he has coached so far. Zanca praised his team’s drive to get better in the offseason and said he has seen the work pay off. Bruton has much room to grow as a team with one senior, Calloway, on this year’s team. One of the big question marks for the Panthers is how they fare once they reach the green. Zanca said putting is going to be his team’s biggest concern after watching an underwhelming performance in the first match of 2015. If Bruton can overcome its putting struggles, the Panthers could fulfill Zanca’s goal of reaching the regional tournament.


Head Coach: Robert Carmines
2015 Classification: 4A Conference 18
Players to Watch: Jason Groner (senior), Brennen Strachan (junior), Chaz Hoepfner (senior), Adam Sanders (sophomore)

Season Outlook: Carmines, in his seventh year as coach, is hoping to see this year’s team show its true potential. Led by Groner and Strachan, both of whom made the Group 4A South tournament last year, the Clippers should have a solid one-two punch between two players who can shoot in the mid-80s. Another player who could help Grafton this year is Hoepfner, who would challenge Strachan for the second spot on the team after shooting a 46 over nine holes in Grafton’s 2015 opener. For Carmines, the regular season is somewhat of a formality with his team not placing much stock on what he called “practice matches.” Rather, Carmines simply hopes his team is peaking heading into the Conference 18 tournament.


Head Coach: Doug Meredith
2015 Classification: 4A Conference 18
Players to Watch: Will Bell (junior), Triston Buckley (junior), Matthew Shield (senior), CJ Montero (senior)

Season Outlook: Coming off back-to-back state championships, Jamestown is hoping to continue its recent level of success and achieve a three-peat this year. Led by Buckley, an All-State selection last year, and All-Region selection Bell, the Eagles could be poised to challenge for another state title. However, this year’s team has already done something last year’s team did not: lose in a Bay Rivers District match. Despite coming in second during the opening 2015 match, Meredith thinks not having the pressure of going undefeated is a good thing. “I think that’s good for us to be pushed,” he said. With four state titles under his belt, it is not farfetched to think Meredith will have Jamestown in a position to compete for another state championship come October.


Head Coach: Pat Thompson
2015 Classification: 4A Conference 18
Players to Watch: Tawni Hatcher (senior), Jacob Smethurst (junior), Jake Clark (senior), Logan Smith (senior)

Season Outlook: After not reaching the Group 3A East tournament last season, Thompson is hoping this year’s team can build on successful individual performances in last year’s postseason. The Rams return their top two golfers from last year in Smethurst, a junior, and Hatcher, a senior. Both golfers reached the Group 3A East tournament last year after notching top-three finishes in the Conference 25 tournament. Outside of her top four golfers, all of whom are upperclassmen, Thompson said this year’s team is on the younger side. While she expects her team to be competitive, Thompson has set her sights on reaching the first round of the regional tournament.


Head Coach: Mike Martinez
2015 Classification: 3A Conference 27
Players to Watch: Robert Tulloss (senior), Katrina Warren (senior), Jordan Stetina (junior), Evan Glass (junior)

Season Outlook: After missing out on taking his whole team to the Group 4A South tournament by two strokes last season, Martinez is hoping his team can break through this year. Led by Tulloss, a captain and four-year starter, the Tigers hope to have more balanced play from top to bottom. Tabb has some of the top female golfers in the district in Warren and Stetina. Martinez said Warren is currently being recruited by Division II colleges after her appearance in the girls state tournament last year and has the ability to shoot in the mid- to low-80s this season. An All-Conference golfer last season, Stetina just missed out on qualifying for states last year. With combined experience and depth, Martinez said he expects the Tigers to finish in the top half of the Bay Rivers District.


Head Coach: Edgar Randall
2015 Classification: 3A Conference 25
Players to Watch: Bryce Parker (junior), Peter Conway (junior), Cole Siegel (senior), Austin Beaulieu (junior)

Season Outlook: Warhill returns its top two golfers from last season in Parker and Conway. Parker averaged 88.4 strokes per round last season, while Conway averaged 90.1 strokes per round. A captain, Beaulieu is one of Warhill’s most improved players according to Randall. The Lions have more depth this year than in recent memory and, if able to overcome their short-game struggles, should be poised to improve from last year’s seventh-place Bay Rivers District finish.


Head Coach: Jerry Turner
2015 Classification: 3A Conference 27
Players to Watch: Tyler Twiggs (junior), James Mollenkamp (junior), James Steele (freshman), Anya Johnson (junior)

Season Outlook: Despite seeing a passion to seek out private lessons and improve over the summer, York is still likely in for a rebuilding year, Turner said. The Falcons will be led by co-captains Twiggs and Mollenkamp, both juniors, who return from last year’s team that improved overall by 60 strokes from the first match to the end of the season. Turner said if this year’s group can even get half as close to that number as last year, he would be pleased with the season. A new face to watch this year is Johnson, a golfer who is trying the sport for the first time. While Johnson may lack the technical skill, Turner said she’s a tremendous athlete who could be a major player for York by the end of the season.