Leesburg, VA (October 26, 2016) – In only their second season of existence as a school, the Riverside Rams capped off a promising year with a third place finish in the 2016 VHSL 3A State Championship hosted by the Tradition Golf Club at Stonehouse, Williamsburg, VA. The Rams shot a four-player two day total of 321, nine strokes shy of 2nd place Blacksburg, and 10-strokes shy of first place Hidden Valley’s score of 311.
Scoring for the Rams were Jack Gessaman (76/78/154), Chad Musa (87/72/159), Kellen Pluntke (81/80/161), and Shreya Ganta (81/84/165). Louie Stathis shot 84/82/166, and Mason Ambuhl 83/88/171.
Ganta, qualified to compete in the 2016 VHSL Girls Open Championship hosted by the International Country Club on October 24th and 25th. She scored 91/84/175 to place in the top 26. The first place score was 78/79/157.
“There were some great moments to build upon throughout the season,” said Riverside head golf coach David Ingalls. “We often spoke about focusing on those moments instead of negative ones, as negativity drains too much energy. We had more bounce backs from bad holes and bad shots than last year as players grew and understood the competitive game better. Chad Musa, our only senior, showcased that by going from his worst score of the season (87) on the first day of states to shooting a career-low 72 on the second day with some exceptional par saves and a massive 80-foot putt for birdie. Our top 6 were not set all year as we had 8 players who went sub-40 or sub-80 at some point in the season which boost team confidence and created healthy competition.”
“Though we fell short of the ultimate goal of wining states, it was a great run,” said Ingalls. “The players truly enjoyed their time amongst some of the best golfers in the state. The experience emphasized how the little details always matter.”
After returning all six of the their top players from last season, in addition to adding freshman Jack Gessaman, Riverside Golf entered the season with depth and a solid foundation to build upon. The looming questions were how much had that team grown, and how would they apply lessons learned from their inaugural season success to the new year.
That depth and solid foundation translated into success on the links. After solid performances in the first few tournaments in August, the Rams developed a game plan for improvements and went on to not only place 3rd at States, but also win the Conference 28 Golf Championship, and place 2nd in the Region 3A Championship.
“The conference championship was a great day because we shot low and it gave the golfers lots of confidence,” shared Ingalls. “Unfortunately, we underperformed at regionals and had a very rough day on the greens which cost us. As a coach, it was difficult to watch but I think they learned quite a bit about humility and leaving egos behind. The message all year was not to be a golfer with tall tales of wished upon talents, but to prepare and actually perform well.”
Please join us in congratulating the Riverside Rams golf team on such a fine season.
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