PORTSMOUTH, Ohio —Another invitational, another course, another opportunity for the Gallia Academy High School boys golf squad.
Competing in their third 18-hole invitational tournament in four days, and fourth in the last week, the Blue Devils concluded a busy stretch of the links on Thursday —by placing sixth in the annual Portsmouth Invitational at Portsmouth Elks Country Club.
The Blue Devils — after totals of 370 at Logan Elm, 375 at Ironton and 351 at Waterford — remained consistent at Portsmouth with a team score of 353.
Individually, the squad’s sole senior — Kaden Thomas —kept up his torrid start to the season, firing a five-over-par 77 for his third consecutive sub-80 round.
He also amounted a 77 at Ironton on Monday, then went three shots lower for a 74 at Waterford on Wednesday.
On Thursday, Thomas shot a 39 on the front side and a 38 on the back —finishing tied for fourth overall.
All but three of the clubs fielded five golfers apiece — with the top four scores counting towards the team total.
West Union “A” amassed the team championship with a 324, while Waverly was the runner-up at 336.
North Adams at 342, Piketon at 348 and Coal Grove at 349 finished slightly ahead of the Blue Devils (353).
Coal Grove — like Gallia Academy — is a member of the Ohio Valley Conference, as two other OVC schools —Fairland (361) and Chesapeake (372) — finished right behind.
Rounding out the team scores were Zane Trace (389), Western (390), West Union “B” (391), Portsmouth Clay (391), Rock Hill (393), Wheelersburg (396) and Ironton (463).
Wheelersburg and Ironton only played with four golfers apiece, while host Portsmouth only had three players — and thus could not post a team score.
Besides Thomas, Cooper Davis with an 86 (43-43), Reece Thomas with a 93 (46-47) and Wyatt Sipple with a 97 (49-48) were the Blue Devils’ other three counting cards.
Davis, with a pair of 43s, had his round aided by a 45-foot birdie putt on the par-3 fourth hole.
Hobie Graham, with a pair of 52s for a 104, was the non-counting score for GAHS.
The only competitors to place ahead of Kaden Thomas were medalist Elijah McCarty of West Union with a 73, medalist runner-up Trevor Deere of Coal Grove with a 75, and third-place Talon Osborne of Waverly with a 76.
The Blue Devils will return to action on Thursday, when they play River Valley and South Gallia at Cliffside Golf Club in Gallipolis.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106