May 19, 2000
Cape Henlopen High School’s golf team had a more than full slate this week. Due to botched scheduling and bad weather, the Vikings played four matches in this last week of the regular season, instead of the usual two.
To add to the pressure, their four opponents included their strongest competitors in the Henlopen Conference.
On Monday, May 15, Cape hosted Polytech High School at Old Landing Golf Course, and won by a surprising 157-187 against the 11-4 Kent County squad.
Tyler Witman won medalist honors with a 37, despite three-putting three times. J.J. Oakley, Josh Marr, and Adam Talley each shot 40s to complete the team’s scoring.
The Vikings then hosted Caesar Rodney at Rehoboth Beach Country Club on Tuesday, May 16. The Cape golfers avenged their May 8 one-stroke loss to the Riders with a dominating 157-175 victory.
This week’s state rankings put Caesar Rodney at No. 4 in Delaware, just above Cape. The victory should switch the two teams in next week’s rankings.
Mark Johnson won medalist honors with a nice 37. “I bogeyed No. 2 and No. 8, but birdied No. 7. The rest were all par,” Johnson said with a grin.
Adam Talley was also pleased with his performance, a season-best 39. “I bogeyed Nos. 3, 6, and 7, but parred all the others,” Talley smiled.
Tyler Witman came in with a 40 in the windy conditions. One cause for Witman’s score may have been a logistical nightmare off the course that started the night before. It forced Witman to borrow Jason Blanshine’s clubs for the round.
Josh Marr’s 41 counted for the Vikings, while J.J. Oakley and Beau Marr struggled in with a 47 and 49 respectively.
“I’m tickled to death,” Coach Jerry Dorneman said after the round. “That’s the great thing about high school golf. There are six players, and on any given day any four of them can pick up for the others and contribute.”
John Lust led the Riders with a 41. Brian Rogers shot a 44, while Gavin Furlong and Dave Brue both posted 45s to complete the team scoring.
On Wednesday, May 17, the Vikings faced their primary conference nemesis, Dover High School, at Rehoboth Beach Country Club. The Cape team was looking to beat the No. 2-ranked Senators, after losing by one stroke on May 2.
This time the score was a tie, 161-161.
As Dorneman said after the match to the Dover coach, “What do you think? Are these two teams fairly close, or what?”
Tyler Witman and Dover’s Chris Noll also tied for medalist honors with a pair of 38s, thanks to a bit of controversy.
Noll called Witman for a rule violation on the eighth hole. Witman’s drive went into a stand of holly trees. Witman said, “I knocked a few berries off a tree” while taking a practice swing. The inadvertent violation of Rule 13-2 led to a two-stroke penalty and the tie.
Some observers were upset at what they considered to be Noll’s gamesmanship. Others suggested that Noll’s maneuver should provide at least two extra incentives for Witman to play well at the upcoming Conference and State championships.
Mark Johnson shot a 40 for the Vikings, followed by Adam Talley’s 41 and Beau Marr’s 42. For the Senators, Mike Catts shot a 39, along with 42s posted by Alan Sydell and B. Cerklefskie.
The Vikings’s final match of the season was scheduled for Thursday, May 16 at Cripple Creek Country Club, against Indian River. The team will play in the Henlopen Conference Championships at Wild Quail on May 25. The State Championships are at Shawnee Country Club on May 30-31.