The high school golf season begins March 28. Between the string of recent nor’easters, teams from the Cape-Atlantic League and Tri-County and Shore conferences have been working on their games in preparation.
CAPE-ATLANTIC LEAGUE AMERICAN DIVISION
Coach: Brian Tickle
Last season’s record: 8-10
Outlook: The Braves will return senior Tatum Henry and junior Jessica Vankawala, both adding varsity experience to a young roster. Tickle will need to guide a rebuilding team that will have four freshmen and one sophomore in the lineup. The first-year coach also expects Henry to compete as one of the top golfers in the conference.
Coach: Pete Logue
Last season’s record: 4-14
Outlook: The Vikings won four matches last season with an inexperienced team, and they hope to build on that total this spring. Atlantic City will return juniors Megan Hankison, Emily Talvacchia and Jay Kapasiawala and also will feature sophomore Madison Brestle. The team’s goal is to compete in the conference and gain experience in the process. The Vikings also will feature sophomore Andrew Mangel, a first-year varsity player.
EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP
Coach: James Handshaw
Last season’s record: 11-5
Outlook: The Eagles qualified for the South Jersey Group IV tournament last season and aim for an even more successful season this spring. Handshaw said EHT will have a few newcomers who have never played at the high school level. But if the first-year golfers can jell with returning players such as senior Justin Maul and juniors Brett Alleva and Brett Campbell, Handshaw said, the Eagles will be an enjoyable team to watch again.
Coach: Dan Reardon
Last season’s record: 15-2
Outlook: The Mustangs have sophomore Michael Mitnick and junior Camille O’Halloran from last season’s successful team (they finished sixth in The Press Elite 11 final rankings.) O’Halloran captured her second-consecutive Cape-Atlantic League girls individual title, and Mitnick won the South Jersey Group III individual title. Reardon said the team is rebuilding and will feature many golfers who have not played at the varsity level but that he expects the Mustangs to build around Mitnick and O’Halloran.
Coach: Terry Nugent
Last season’s record: 13-9
Outlook: Following a successful season in which they added 11 wins to their 2016 total, the Thunderbolts will return seniors Jack Beck, Hunter Frost, Josh DeMaio, Aubrey Erickson and Nick Whitelam. Millville also returns juniors Mike Resch and Tim Wright. Nugent was the 2017 Press Golf Coach of the Year.
Coach: Rich Howey
Last season’s record: 8-10
Outlook: The Falcons are returning juniors Matt Boakes, Dan Harty, Mike Guenther and Dave Ketschek and sophomore Nolan Harring and Viveck Kolli. Oakcrest is coming off a season in which it went .500 in its division for the first time in program history. Howey said the expectation is to be competitive in each match, especially considering that the five starters will take the green together for the second straight season.
Co-coaches: Ed Ritti and Bryan Chojnacki
Last season’s record: 12-3
Outlook: The Red Raiders, who finished last season ranked fifth in the Elite 11, have a lot of talent returning after they captured the South Group III and the inaugural Cape May County Championship titles. The top golfers are mainly seniors, including Jack Sullivan, Isaac Royster, Will McGonigle, Josh Brown and Craig Nordberg. The highly experienced Ocean City team, which Ritti said will be the deepest it has been in a long time, aims to repeat the success of last season.
St. Augustine Prep
Coach: Len Dolson
Last season’s record: 17-1
Outlook: The Hermits captured the Cape-Atlantic League American Division title and were ranked No. 2 spot in the Elite 11 last season. St. Augustine will feature sophomore Drue Nicholas, who was the 2017 Press Golfer of the Year. The Hermits finished second at the state Non-Public A Tournament and placed ninth among 24 teams at the statewide Tournament of Champions last spring. The Hermits also will return most of their team from last season, including juniors Jonathan Prussel and Mike DeLong. Dolson said he expects “some big things” from this group.
Coach: Mike Brosh
Last season’s record: 1-14
Outlook: The Fighting Clan will return seniors Cody Mason and Cassidy Campanella, along with sophomore Kevin London. The team is young and still rebuilding, but Brosh said he is optimistic incoming freshmen Cameron I’ppolito, Trevor Farnichio and Andreas Panagiotopoulos will contribute immediately.
CAPE-ATLANTIC LEAGUE NATIONAL DIVISION
Coach: Dan Martinez
Last season’s’ record: Not available
Outlook: No information was available from the Bulldogs.
Coach: Bill McGonigle
Last season’s record: 7-14
Outlook: The Chiefs are very young with the expectation to gain experience and continually progress as the season unfolds. The rebuilding season will revolve around key returning players such as senior Levi Souder, junior Angelo Piazza and sophomores Ross Ennis, Josh Chezum, Mike Blasberg and Nazzareno Ripa. Buena also will have three newcomers on its roster this spring. McGonigle said the team may not be great, but the Chiefs will still be good enough to have an exciting season on the green.
CAPE MAY TECH
Coach: Jeff Sobrinski
Last season’s record: 2-17
Outlook: The Hawks have been working on the fundamentals during the preseason, aiming to improve and be more competitive in the conference. Sobrinski said he expects sophomores Scott Wiltshire and Chris Porto to be leaders throughout the season, as they have set an example with their hard work in preparation for this spring.
Coach: Bill McNally
Last season’s record: 6-11
Outlook: The Pirates return seniors Cole Hugues and Matt Hollman and junior Josh McKensie. Cedar Creek will also welcome up-and-coming sophomore golfer Nick Kienzle. McNally said the goal is to achieve a better record and gain more experience as the team has a mostly young roster.
LOWER CAPE MAY REG.
Coach: Jeff Wunder
Last season’s record: 12-4
Outlook: The Caper Tigers will return seniors Chris Hollandsworth and Justin Glover and juniors Colby Carter and Joe Baker. After qualifying for the South Jersey Group II tournament last season, Wunder said, the team should continue to improve. Lower Cape May, according to Wunder, will “pick up right where we left off last season.”
Coach: Dave Joselin
Last season’s record: 16-0
Outlook: The Panthers are coming off their second straight undefeated season and seventh consecutive Cape-Atlantic League National Division title. They finished 11th in the Elite 11.Joselin is looking for another dominant season, turning to senior captains Peter Conlin and Vincent Lamanna to lead the team in every tournament they enter. Conlin and Lamanna, both four-year golfers, bring experience to an already talented lineup. Middle also will feature seniors Travis Marshall, Zachary Hurtabo and Tyler MacLeod.
Coach: Frank Matire
Last season’s record: 10-8
Outlook: The Spartans were 4-14 in 2016 and quickly improved to an over-.500 record last season. With returning players such as juniors Anthony Lawler, Kevin Curau and Joe Pontari, along with sophomore Alex DeJean, the team is more experienced. Matire, who said he is hopeful for another winning season, said his team’s “scores will speak for themselves” when the season starts. Matire said freshman James Dalzell will be a very promising addition and could make an immediate impact.
Coach: Sam Curcio
Last season’s record: 14-4
Outlook: The Wildcats are coming off an impressive season in which they finished second in the Cape-Atlantic League National Division and qualified for the South Non-Public B tournament. St. Joseph has plenty of varsity experience, including returning seniors Dylan Kramer, Dominic Grassi, Tony Matro and Ethan Dawson. Also back in the mix for the Wildcats are junior Jake DeMarco and sophomore Logan Rutt. Curcio said the team will look to continue last year’s success and expect to compete for the division title and qualify for the sectional tournament again.
Coach: Matt Schelling
Last season’s record: 4-12
Outlook: The Crusaders are a relatively young team that will rely heavily on the varsity experience seniors Taylor Ohntrup, Dennis Libro and Jack Hendee will bring to the lineup. Schelling, the second-year coach, said Wildwood Catholic is rebuilding but still anticipates being competitive. The team also will look to senior newcomer Mat Capozzoli to add leadership.
Coach: Rick Blasi
Last season’s record: 6-12
Outlook: The Bengals have roster depth, featuring seniors Maxwell Lares, Jerry Neaves, Sam Gottesman and Jarrett Majewski. But, expect for Lares, the team does not have much varsity experience. The up-and-coming golfers aim to stay competitive in the division and improve upon last season. Kyle Smith and Nick Spitz, both juniors, will fill the fifth spot in the lineup. Blasi said he hopes Lares, Neaves and Gottesman, the Bengals’ top players, will do well in the individual tournaments this spring.
Coach: Mike Kilmurray
Last season’s record: 13-5
Outlook: Following a successful season, Lacey graduated three seniors and will look to rebuild around senior Brian Huebler and junior Brandon Piserchia. Kilmurray will have the task of grooming seven freshmen, making the Lions a very young team. Those newcomers will get opportunities to contribute immediately.
Coach: Jim Becker
Last season’s record: 11-5
Outlook: The Wildcats will have a very young but experienced team this season. They return senior Ben DeFiglio, junior Connor Carney and sophomores Austin Carney and Kayla Gutierrez. The team also has four sophomores and three seniors to play in the fifth spot. Pinelands narrowly lost its division last spring, missing first place by just one stroke. The team lost four matches by a combined nine strokes, so the Wildcats aim to compete after coming up a little short of a title in 2017.
Coach: Jeff Reilly
Last season’s record: 16-3
Outlook: The Rams will take the green after losing one of their top players, Matt Rizzio, to graduation. Reilly will look to his four key returning players to fill the void — juniors Nick Campanelli, Chris D’Alessandro, Caleb Rossi and Peter Fabian. Southern, coming off another decorated season in which it captured its fourth consecutive Ocean County Tournament title and took the Shore Conference A South crown, are confident about their chances to have another big spring. The Rams, who finished eighth in the Elite 11 in 2017, also return senior Ethan Leming and sophomore Jonathan Sheehan, adding to the lineup’s experience. The Rams will close their regular season with their first meeting against St. Augustine Prep, a highly anticipated match between two accomplished programs.
Coach: Jason Ceresini
Last season’s record: 3-12
Outlook: Cumberland lost its top two golfers to graduation and will only have six players in the entire lineup. Ceresini will rely on the experience of returning seniors Michael Wyatt, John Skirvin and Andrew Jenkins, along with junior Zachary May. The Colts aim to stay competitive in a tough Royal Division.
Coach: Jason Bendig
Last season’s record: 7-9
Outlook: This will be the fourth season for the Hammonton golf program, and each spring it has improved into a more well-rounded team. Bendig said he expects the team to continue enhancing its game. The Blue Devils will return senior Will Murdock and junior Chad Syvertson. Bendig will look to incoming freshmen Olivia Strigh and Noah Petracci to become immediate contributors and help Hammonton perhaps achieve a winning record.
Coach: Ione Laffey
Last season’s record: 4-6
Outlook: Wildwood aims to improve its averages this season and surpass its 2016 victory total. Laffey said the Warriors do not have much depth and will rely on junior returners Tyler Tomlin, Divad Reyes, Jared Lopez and Ahned Benmiled. The team also will return sophomores Jaxon Tomlin and Robert Little.
Coach: Sue Rogers
Last season’s record: 1-16
Outlook: The Bengals will return sophomores Madison Linton, Donna Zhang and Jasmine Reid. Rogers said she hopes the young team will gain confidence and experience as the season progresses.
Coach: Jack Mahar
Last season’s record: 12-5
Outlook: The Lions are basically a new team, as many players from last spring did not return. The team will have seven players, and only two have varsity experience — sophomore Kylie Bragg and senior Mackenzie Wyman. Mahar said he was unsure who the top five golfers will be when the season begins, adding he may rotate the players without any varsity experience. Despite the new look of the team, he said, Lacey expects to better its record from last season and qualify for some major tournaments.
Coach: Jim McCabe
Last season’s record: 7-5
Outlook: The Rams are returning seniors Annie McCallion, Mia Roslin, Arielle Medenilla and Lyndsay Piseiotta. With all four of those players having varsity experience, McCabe is confident the team will be highly competitive, including staying in the mix for the Shore Conference A South title.
Coach: Samantha LaRosa
Record: Not available.
Outlook: No information was available from the Colts.
Contact: 609-272-7210 PMulranen@pressofac.com