WHEELING - Heading into the second day of the state golf tournament, the Keyser High School golfers were within striking distance of a top finish. Despite what wasn't really a great day one performance, the Golden Tornado were only seven strokes behind then second place North Marion and eight strokes behind first place Shady Spring.

By Chapin Jewell
Tribune Correspondent
WHEELING - Heading into the second day of the state golf tournament, the Keyser High School golfers were within striking distance of a top finish. Despite what wasn’t really a great day one performance, the Golden Tornado were only seven strokes behind then second place North Marion and eight strokes behind first place Shady Spring.
Keyser enjoyed a solid day two performance, but it wouldn’t be quite enough, as Shady Spring clung to that number one position to win the state championship with a score of 519.
North Marion likewise clung to their position to finish second with a 526. Robert C. Byrd finished one stroke behind North Marion with a 527 to claim third. Keyser finished in fourth position with a 531.
Senior Jacob Malcolm led the Keyser golfers with an 88 on day one and 88 on day two to shoot a 170 overall.  Senior Darrick Broadwater was second for Keyser with an 87 on day one and a 94 on day two to shoot 181 overall.  Next was freshman Noah Broadwater with a 99 on day one and 83 on day two to finish with a 182 overall.  Freshman Drew Matlick came in with a 97 on day one and a 94 on day two to finish with a score of 191.
Jacob Malcolm finished in eighth place overall, earning a spot on the all-tournament team. Darrick Broadwater finished in 14th place overall, with brother Noah Broadwater finishing 15th. Finally, Drew Matlick finished tied for 22nd place overall.  
“It was an extremely tough golf course. I thought the first day, we posted two pretty good scores. We would have liked to have had a third, but it just wasn’t in the cards.  We got off to a bad start at the first tee box. A couple of our golfers settled in the rest of the day and I was very pleased with how they managed a very tough course,” first-year Keyser golf coach Josh Blowe stated.
“Day two, Noah (Broadwater) obviously was the highlight. Going into 17 he was seven over, which was a really good day for him. I would have liked to see him finish it off a little better than he did, but, it is what it is.  Drew had a better day, which was good to see. I was glad to see him rebound a bit on the second day. Darrick and Jacob were both solid and I was glad to see them go out with their heads held high as seniors, finishing in the state tournament in the top four. I told them to be proud,” Blow stated.
As for Jacob Malcolm’s all-tournament team worthy performance?
“It put a nice bow on his high school career. He’s been solid from day one as a freshman to his last day as a senior. It was nice to see all that hard work over four years really pay off into a spot on the all-state tournament team,” Blowe stated.
According to Blowe, “I know he’s proud of that, but he would rather have liked to see his team do a lot better as a whole. But, he’s definitely proud of his accomplishment.  He will look back five or 10 years from now and enjoy it even more.”
The fourth-place performance at the state tournament caps off what has been a remarkable and memorable season for the Keyser Golden Tornado golfers. Just making it to the state tournament in and of itself is a great accomplishment, especially under a first-year coach and with a roster that yes, while it had senior experience, also contained a great deal of youth.
For a team to do so well, and advance to Wheeling with two seniors and two freshmen comprising the roster, shows that this Keyser team in particular will bridge the gap from a successful past to a successful future. The seniors will go out with their heads held high. For the freshmen, and the rest of the returning Keyser golfers, there will be much anticipation for the future.
For all involved, the players, coaches, families, fans, and media, the state tournament experience was fantastic, building memories that will last a lifetime.
“The overall experience was great. From the practice rounds to the hotel rooms, to just hanging out with each other and bonding with each other was something they’ll never forget. The team meals, everything was great.  Oglebay treated us well, they were great hosts, and we’re hoping we can get back there again in the near future,” Blowe explained.
The state tournament experience was great, but really only the icing on the cake for what has been a memorable, successful season for all involved. From the beginning days of early practices to the final shot on the 18th hole at the state tournament, overall, the Keyser golf experience in 2020 has been a good one.
“The Keyser golf experience for 2020 was really good.  I thought at first, I wasn’t sure what we had, but after the first couple practices in the off season I saw that we had hard workers. I knew that we were going to get better, from number one all the way down to our last golfer.  Everyone wanted to get better,” Blowe explained.
According to Blowe, “Nobody came to practice and goofed around. Nobody came to practice to just be there.  They were there to get better and improve, and a lot of our golfers from day one to the last day improved, some of them immensely.”
Blowe is immensely thankful for the support his team has received, both throughout the year and during the state tournament run at the end of the season. From beginning to end, the hard work of the golfers, improved performance, and energy surrounding the program will pay dividends moving forward.
“It was great to see us be one of the better teams in the area, and obviously one of the better teams in the state. It was great to see that for our little town of Keyser. We had great support from Dan Abel at Polish Pines and his staff and we had great support from our administrators. I personally would like to thank athletic director Shawn White for all the work he’s put in. It was awesome all the way around, and we really appreciate the support from everyone,” Blowe stated.
According to Blowe, “Any time you’re successful, people want to follow. I’m hoping we can get some more kids out. The middle school now, they’ve started golf as a unit down there.  So, I’m hoping they’ll take to it and want to be a part of the team. I hope it’s a breeding ground for a bright future and many, many more golfers coming out.”
Bridging the successful past and a bright future, that’s exactly what the 2020 version of Keyser Golden Tornado golf did. They honored a proud winning tradition, and laid building blocks for a bright future. It’s a success story all the way around.