Golf Coach Of The Year: James Wood’ David Oates

Posted: December 23, 2013

James Wood’s David Oates — The Winchester Star Golf Coach of the Year in his first year as coach — led a James Wood team that was the only one in the area to play in a region tournament (where they placed fourth in 4A North) as a result of the Colonels’ second-place finish in the inaugural Conference 21 tournament. James Wood also won its second straight Northwestern District regular season title.

James Wood went 64-12 in head-to-head competition, won all four district dual matches, won two district mini tournaments, won the Skyline Invitational, and placed second at both the Bryan Gunter Invitational and the Dr. Glenn Inviational in Charles Town, W.Va.

Q. More than half of this year’s James Wood top six consistently played in the top six last year. What were the expectations coming in?

Oates: We had high expectations. As a first-year coach, I was able to start working with a special group that knew what it wanted to accomplish, and they wanted to go far in the postseason.

Q. What stands out about this season?

Oates: I was impressed by the level of consistency. We really worked hard to achieve a high level of play over the course of the year. Our depth really helped us with that and was responsible for a lot of our success. (James Wood rarely featured the same six-person lineup this year and used the majority of its 13-player roster.) Will [Holmes] and Roger [Repasky] could always be relied upon for counting scores, and usually Hunter Hall. But we had a lot of different people who could get that fourth score.

Q. Any particular tournament that you thought was significantly important?

Oates: When we finished behind Sherando at the Curly Licklider Tournament and the first district mini, it was kind of a wake-up call to our kids. We knew we had to play a lot stronger, and we did that by taking second at the Bryan Gunter Invitational. We were able to build off that performance and have a strong season.

Q. Most memorable moment?

Oates: The most memorable moments for me were watching Will [Holmes] at the Dr. Glenn and at the state tournament. (Holmes earned medalist honors with a 2-over 74 in a 11-team field that also included Sherando at the Glenn, and Holmes shot a 76-75 — 151 to place 10th in Group 4A in Harrisonburg.) He really impressed me at the Glenn and his play was so phenomenal at the state tournament. He played so well. It was great to see his hard work rewarded.

Q. Next year’s team loses Will Holmes and several other seniors, but Roger Repasky and Hunter Hall will be back. Expectations for next year based on what’s coming back?

Oates: I think we can reload pretty well. We probably won’t be as deep next year, but there’s still a lot of potential with the players that we have to be a strong team.

— Compiled by Robert Niedzwiecki

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