Fort Frye's golf team is scheduled to begin sectional tournament play at Willandale Golf Club in Sugar Creek at 9 a.m. Tuesday.
One the of the other schools in that tourney will be Steubenville Central, which "technically" captured Thursday's Class AA Ohio Valley Athletic Conference crown at the Crispin Course at Oglebay Park in Wheeling (W.Va.).
The Dave McFerren-coached Cadets of Beverly were runner-up at Crispin, after initially believing at the finish they had secured the OVAC championship for the first time.
Unfortuately, though, Fort Frye didn't win it, because of a scorecard rule infraction - not of its making.
Here's what happened.
After Cadet junior golfer Tyler Walters shot a 78, the Linsly golfer who kept his card noticed that a score was not written on one of the holes. Walters informed the Linsly golfer - not once but twice, according to McFerren - that he'd gotten a 5 on that hole.
If you've ever been at the finish of a prep golf tournament, it's mass confusion, and the golfers are signing scorecards, pretty much for the most part without looking at them very carefully.
Thinking that the Linsly golfer had corrected the scorecard, Walters signed it.
Problem was, the Linsly golfer apparently forgot to make the adjustment on the card, and as a result, Walters was disqualified.
That cost Fort Frye the crown.
If Walters' score of 78 had been used by Fort Frye, the Cadets of Beverly would've won the tournament by a couple of strokes.
"Tyler was devastated," McFerren said. "I mean, he played the round of his life."
The Fort Frye golfer's "only mistake" - if you want to call it that - was signing the card after believing the card had been corrected by a fellow player in his group. Mind you, this was not a professional golf tournament. So, this was an error that could've been fixed on the spot, if any adult(s) had had the courage to step forward and done so.
Thing is, the issue as I see it has nothing to do with a high school golf rule, but rather of good sportmanship. But in a win at any cost world, there was none, and as a result Steubenville Central's first-place hardware is "tainted."
Simply put, Steubenville Central benefitted from a Linsly golfer's mistake, which cost Fort Frye a title. If the Crusaders had any guts at all, they would have acknowledged the Cadets as the true champions.
That would have been an extraordinary act of good sportsmanship. But...it never happened.
Fort Frye actually won the OVAC Class AA event on the course but not on the scorecard. Even so, Walters and his Cadet teammates still should hold their heads high.
"Tyler trusted that kid," McFerren said. "But what bothers me is the Linsly coach never apologized to me or the team."
Now, that would've been another extraordinary act of good sportsmanship.
"At least, we finished ahead of Linsly," McFerren said.
The Linsly golf coach was e-mailed and asked to comment on the incident at Crispin. As of Friday, I have not heard from him.
As for Fort Frye, all it can do is go forward, and focus on the sectional tournament.
Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor, and can be reached at 376-5441, or firstname.lastname@example.org.