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High School Notebook: Lord Botetourt's Ashton Harper earns berth in PGA Tour event

High School Notebook: Lord Botetourt's Ashton Harper earns berth in PGA Tour event

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Some kids go to the beach in the summer.

Ashton Harper is going in September, but not to swim or collect seashells.

The rising Lord Botetourt junior has earned a berth in the Pro-Junior Amateur Division of the PGA Tour’s PURE Insurance Championship Impacting The First Tee Sept. 20-26 in Pebble Beach, California.

Harper will be paired for three rounds with a tour professional in a best-ball format in one of three separate competitions in the 54-hole event. Jim Furyk won the PGA individual event in 2020.

Harper got his invitation by defeating 23 other players to win the inaugural First-Tee National Championship last week at the Walker Course in Clemson, South Carolina.

Representing First Tee-Roanoke, the Botetourt teen finished 9-under-par with rounds of 69-70-68 and defeated Hunter Swanson of Denver in a one-hole playoff for the title.

Hardy resident Slade Aliff placed ninth in the tournament at 6-over-par.

The event raises money and awareness of the First Tee, a grass-roots junior development program.

Winners of the PGA portion of the event have included Hale Irwin, Craig Stadler, Bernhard Langer, Jeff Sluman and Kirk Triplett.

Current PGA pro Harold Varner teamed with Morris Hatalsky to win the 2007 event when he was a junior golfer.

Timesland athletes honoredFive Timesland seniors have been selected as winners of 2021 Allstate Foundation/VHSL Achievement awards.

Criteria for the award are athletic and academic achievement, and school and community service. Each honoree received a $1,500 scholarship.

Timesland seniors honored were:

Class 5 girls — Savannah Derey, Patrick Henry.

Class 3 boys — Finley Underwood, Magna Vista.

Class 2 boys — Mason Sproule, Radford.

Class 2 girls — Morgan Marshall, James River.

Class 1 boys — Kade Minton, George Wythe.

Derey led Patrick Henry to the Class 5 girls basketball final and the girls lacrosse semifinals. She finished as PH’s career lacrosse scoring leader and No. 2 on the Patriots’ girls basketball career scoring list. She signed a lacrosse scholarship with James Madison.

Underwood, who will attend Virginia, played football and was captain of Magna Vista’s swim and boys soccer teams. He holds the school record in the 50-yard freestyle.

Sproule played football as a punter and place-kicker, and was a midfielder and striker for Radford’s boys soccer team, serving as a team captain. He will attend William and Mary.

Marshall earned 12 varsity letters at James River in five sports: volleyball (4), indoor track (3), volleyball (3), outdoor track (1) and football (1). She was a member of the Class 2 indoor track champion 800-meter relay team. Marshall also served as senior class president and became the first female in school history to score a point in a football game when she kicked a PAT. She will attend Tennessee.

Minton ran cross country and track while playing boys soccer for George Wythe. He was a member of the Class 2 indoor champion 1,600 relay team. Minton, who will attend Hampden-Sydney, also captained George Wythe’s Scholastic Bowl team.

North Cross’ Pollock named All-AmericanNorth Cross senior midfielder Geist Pollock has been named one of six players from the Virginia private-school ranks as a USA Lacrosse All-American.

Pollock helped North Cross win the VISAA Division II boys state title last month.

North Cross coach Chris Pollock was named USA Lacrosse coach of the year among schools in the VISAA’s two divisions.

The other VISAA players named to the All-American list were Kent Goode, Spalding Hall and Chase Mullins of St. Christopher’s, James Beeghly of Collegiate and Liam Hurley of St. Anne’s-Belfield.

Grogan signs with S.C. NAIA programDashaun Grogan, a 2020 William Fleming graduate who prepped last year at Massanutten Military Academy, has signed to play basketball at Columbia International University.

The 6-foot-4 Grogan played for head coach Mickey Hardy at Fleming before electing to play at MMA for Curtis Peery.

Columbia International is an NAIA program that also is a member of the National Christian College Athletic Association. CIU is a member of the Appalachian Athletic Conference, which also includes Bluefield College along with schools in Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky.

CIU is coached by former Clemson and Ohio State guard Tony Stockman. The Rams finished the 2020-21 season 16-9 overall and were ranked No. 4 in the NCCAA.

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