After three straight runner-up finishes at the state high school golf tournament, Poca has its sights set on bringing home the trophy when the event tees off Tuesday at Oglebay Resort in Wheeling.
"I think we have a good chance at winning," said Poca coach Doug Smith. "David [Scragg] knows the course, playing there last year and Travis [Covert] is a senior and he's been there a couple times."
To help prepare for the challenge that awaits, the Dots have been practicing at Sleepy Hollow instead of their home course at Scarlet Oaks.
The difficult greens at Sleepy are harder to navigate and are similar to those found at Oglebay.
"The greens at Sleepy Hollow are faster, and cut front to back, so you can't put the ball above the hole" said Smith. "If you do, it'll be a three- or four-putt hole."
Buffalo coach Joey Rogers seems to agree with Smith about how the course at Oglebay differs from the courses they usually play on.
"The elevation changes and the greens are faster," Rogers said. "It will be a true test of how far we've come from last year."
The Bison feature three seniors that played on last year's team that finished third at the state tournament.
Cory Hoshor will be competing in his third state tournament, having qualified as an individual in 2010 and 2011. Bradley Harris and Blaik Caplinger will be playing in their second tournament.
Rogers is confident in his team and said he thinks they have a chance to be right in the thick of things Wednesday evening when the event winds down.
"Charleston Catholic as a very good program," said Rogers. "If we play our best, we could be in contention at the end."
The Irish are looking to win their third title in as many years, fourth in the last five, and become the first team to win three in a row since Hurricane did it from 2007-09.
"We are excited to defend our title," said Catholic coach Bill Gillispie. "We are pretty relaxed and confident."
That confidence comes with good reason.
Senior Aaron Persily is competing in his third state tournament and has finished second individually twice. Junior Christian Casingal is also entering his third tournament and was the top finisher 2011 as a freshman. Freshman Cameron Blakely and sophomore Nick Casingal each had top-five finishes in the regional tournament.
"If you have four guys at 76 or below, you're going to be pretty tough to beat," said Gillispie.
Another area golfer, George Washington junior Kyle Byrd, qualified for the state tournament as an individual.
State tournament pairings
At Oglebay Resort, Trent Jones Course
Hole 1A - Sydney Snodgrass, Ritchie County; Mitch Crutchfield, Grafton; Drew Bragg, Westside; David Scragg, Poca.
Hole 1B - Riley Allen, Ritchie County; Zach Musgrove, Grafton; Kaitlyn Sanders, Westside; Alex Hamrick, Poca.
Hole 2 - Ben Knight, Ritchie County; Zac Summers, Grafton; Corey Bowles, Westside; Travis Covert, Poca.
Hole 3A - Jon Harkness, Ritchie County; Travis Mayle, Grafton; Derek Johnson, Westside; Caleb Luikart, Poca.
Hole 3B - Cole Moore, Roane County; Marco Oliverio, Bridgeport; Brett Laxton, Wyoming East; Sterling Chafin, Scott.
Hole 4A - Alston Spears, Roane County; Austin Williams, Bridgeport; Dakota Hood, Wyoming East; Evan Butcher, Scott.
Hole 4B - Cam Moore, Roane County; Ben Smith, Bridgeport; Kirby Campbell, Wyoming East; Aaron Grant, Scott.
Hole 5 - Caleb Moore, Roane County; Tim Doukas, Bridgeport; Logan Cook, Wyoming East; Jonathon Butcher, Scott.
Hole 6A - Colton Holbert, North Marion; Matt Landis, Keyser; Ike Judy, James Monroe; Taylor Schmeck Sissonville.
Hole 6B - Brennan Vincent, East Fairmont; Travis Smith, Keyser; T.J. Stacy, Riverview; Jake Workman, Chapmanville.
Hole 7A - Nick Mazur, Madonna; Brandon Wilfong, Pocahontas County; Justin Estep, Greenbrier West; Christian Casingal, Charleston Catholic.
Hole 7B - Michael Rogers, Madonna; Andrew Morrison, Pocahontas County; Chandler Fitzwater, Greenbrier West; Aaron Persily, Charleston Catholic.
Hole 8 - Alex Colantonio, Madonna; Stephen Mick, Pocahontas County; Austin Ransom, Greenbrier West, Nick Casingal, Charleston Catholic.
Hole 9A - Thomas Gianni, Madonna; Matthew Rao, Pocahontas County; Jared Jennings, Greenbrier West; Cameron Blakely, Charleston Catholic.
Hole 9B - Peyton Moore, Magnolia; Tanner Carr, Moorefield; Baley Beckwith, Man; Kody Rhyne, Williamstown.
Hole 10A - Alex Schreckengost, Parkersburg South; Dylan Mumaw, Washington; Tyler Hillyer, Princeton; Thomas Frazier, Huntington.
Hole 10B - Adeena Shears, Parkersburg South; Patrick Burgess, Washington; Jared Potter, Princeton; Fisher Cross, Huntington.
Hole 11A - Garrett Dailey, Parkersburg South; Ryan Fleming, Washington; William Hickman, Princeton; Nick Nolan, Huntington.
Hole 11B - Noah Smith, Parkersburg South; Jacob Shuff, Washington; Andrew Wilson, Princeton; C.J. McCoy, Huntington.
Hole 12 - Cole Hand, Wheeling Park; Braden Hammond, Elkins; Drew Green, Shady Spring; Seth Kinker, Cabell Midland.
Hole 13A - Kyle Wensel, Wheeling Park; Kollin Hopwood, Elkins; Landon Perry, Shady Spring; Hutton Light, Cabell Midland.
Hole 13B - Dylan Wojcik, Wheeling Park; Kole Hopwood, Elkins; Ryan Albaugh, Shady Spring; Zack Chapman, Cabell Midland.
Hole 14 - Freddie Fitzsimmons, Wheeling Park; Joseph Severino, Elkins; Dakota McCommas, Shady Spring; Mark Wilcox, Cabell Midland.
Hole 15A - Logan Lojszczyk, Brooke; Owen Elliot, Hedgesville; Kyle Bird, George Washington; Samuel Corns, Logan.
Hole 15B - Eric Wirth, University; Patrick Glann, Jefferson; Craig Buchanon, Oak Hill; Andrew Brooks, Hurricane.
Hole 16 - Drew Wells, St. Marys; Jordan Brown, Notre Dame; Mason Mullens, Richwood; Cory Hoshor, Buffalo.
Hole 17A - Coleman Lamp, St. Marys; Austin Wilson, Notre Dame; Braden Johnson, Richwood; Bradley Harris, Buffalo.
Hole 17B - Robbie Harper, St. Marys; Anthony Demary, Notre Dame; Tyler Davis, Richwood; Nic Gunter, Buffalo.
Hole 18A - Jared Nichols, St. Marys; Tyler Mehr, Notre Dame; Charlie Baughman, Richwood; Blaik Caplinger, Buffalo.
Hole 18B - Steven Gretchen, Bishop Donohue; Alex Hinzman, Tygart Valley; Trenten Caruthers, Sherman; Ben Collie, Parkersburg Catholic.