Capital’s Joe Kramer reacts after hitting an eagle on 18.

Capital has certainly seemed to adopt coach Michael Terry’s golf philosophy of focusing only on the shot ahead and never dwelling on the one behind.

That’s exactly what it takes to have success at the rugged Jones Course at Oglebay Resort in Wheeling, and through the first of two days at the prep golf state tournamen, the Cougars find themselves in prime position.

Buoyed by Jace Ranson’s round of 9-over 80, Capital sits in a tie for second place with Huntington after the first day of the state golf tournament with a team score of 247, just two shots off the pace of Wheeling Park.

Greenbrier East finished with a total of 254 to sit in fourth place as all four teams are hovering within nine strokes of the lead with one more round to go on Wednesday. The top three of four individual scores for a team comprise the team score.

“That’s the best scenario we could look for,” Terry said. “You can’t win on the first day but you can lose it.”

Capital certainly didn’t do that as Noah Mitchell (83) and Joe Kramer (84) backed Ranson up with solid rounds to get the Cougars off to a good start.

“I just tried to keep them focused on the task at hand, let them know of the opportunity that’s in front of us and keep them focused on the shot that they’re going to hit,” Terry said. “I’m so proud of my team right now. I’ve been with those kids since seventh grade and the way they played today, I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Brooke’s Ryan Bilby, playing as an individual qualifier, shot a 3-over 74 to lead the individual standings in Class AAA. Washington’s Ethan Hardy is in second place, two shots back with Wheeling Park’s Noah Seivertson three shots behind.

George Washington’s Anderson Goldman, who qualified as an individual, shot 11-over 82 to sit in ninth. The top eight in each class will be recognized as All-State. Hurricane’s Sam White carded an 18-over 89.

Class AA

With three sub-90 rounds (Clark Craig 82, Gannon Satterfield 87 and Zach Morgan 88) Fairmont Senior seized control of the Class AA team race, shooting a combined 257 to claim an 11-shot lead over North Marion. Shady Spring (271), Chapmanville (273) and Wyoming East (281) round out the top five.

Shady’s Todd Duncan came up with the low round of the day across all three classes, firing a 1-over 72, good enough for a nine-shot lead over Grafton’s Caden Moore and Wyoming East’s Ethan Bradford.

Winfield struggled on Tuesday, posting a score of 309, putting the Generals in eighth place, 18 shots behind seventh-place Robert C. Byrd. Poca’s Jacob Blizzard and Herbert Hoover’s Bryson Beaver each shot 17-over 88s as individual qualifiers. Chase Milbee led Winfield with an 89.

Class A

Anchored by Evan Sayre’s 86, Charleston Catholic is still hanging around after scoring a 279 on Tuesday, 16 shots off the pace set by St. Marys and seven shots behind second-place Ritchie County.

David Zachwieja (94) and Bryce Helmick (99) made up the rest of Catholic’s team score with the Irish looking for more on Wednesday.

Webster County’s Rigel Wilson leads the small-school individual charge after a round of 9-over 80. Ravenswood’s Gavin Fox is three shots back in second and one shot clear of a two-way tie for third between Williamstown’s Xavier Caruthers and Parkersburg Catholic’s Blake Lewis.

Reach Ryan Pritt at 304-348-7948, or follow him @RPritt on Twitter.