March 30, 2001
On a cold, blustery afternoon, March 27, the Cape Henlopen High School golf team opened its 2001 season with a slim four-shot victory over Delmar High School, 174-178. The bitter cold did no one any favors when it came to scoring at Rehoboth Beach Country Club, the Vikings’ home course.
Sophomore Tyler Witman led all players with a 40, which he claimed was his highest score in months. “I can’t even say how I played today. You couldn’t print it,” Witman grimaced.
For many Cape Region golfers, a score that matched the day’s Fahrenheit reading would not necessarily be a bad result, but Witman is an admitted perfectionist.
“I drove terribly, and lipped out a bunch of putts. On number 8 the ball landed up against a tree. I poked it away, eventually got it on the green, and made a nice putt for a 6,” Witman said.
Mark Johnson, one of several Viking seniors on the squad, was also less than happy with his 44. “Let’s just say that my course management was not the best today. I also three-putted 4 or 5 greens.”
Adam Talley’s 42 was second best among all the players. The Viking senior laughed and said, “I was actually hitting the fairways today. Then again, I lipped out 5 putts, and three-putted number 9 for a bogey.”
Senior Jason Ritthaler completed the Viking qualifying scores (top 4 of 6) with a 48. “I made a nice 20 foot birdie putt on number 7, and had a putt for birdie on number 9, but I ended up four-putting the hole for a double bogey,” Ritthaler grimaced.
Chris Donovan joined the varsity this year as a senior, and completed his opening event with a 49. “My short game was good, but everything else was off,” he explained through chattering teeth.
Junior Christina Wagamon also played in the group of six, shooting from the red tees. Golf is among the rare coed sports in Delaware high school athletics, and her reaction to her first event of the year matched the boys: “It was really cold, but that’s not why I shot a 51. I made an 11 on the fourth hole. My third shot went into the pond, and then I scraped the ball around the green after that. Otherwise, I did pretty well, and parred the ninth hole.”
Senior J.J. Oakley, likely to be a leading player for the Vikings, sat out the match as he recovered from a family trip to Florida. Junior Shannon Prettyman and the Schneider brothers, Brad and Mike, make up the rest of the varsity team.
Last week the upstate daily newspaper gave Cape’s golf team a pre-season #2 ranking, just behind last year’s state champion Dover squad. Head coach Jerry Dorneman made no attempt to hide his feelings about the rankings: “I hate those things. They build up expectations.” Still, even Dorneman admitted that his team certainly has the potential to do well this season.
In addition to Junior Reinie Vugrinec and her sophomore brother, Micah, eight freshmen are on the JV squad: Drake Chandler, Chris Clem, Chad Cross, Brett Hertel, Hans Howk, Erik Jenks, Emory Miller, and Kurt Stephens.
Corey Groll and Dave Vitale are assisting Dorneman this year with the junior varsity players. Dorneman says he really appreciates the volunteer coaches’ help.
On Thursday, March 29, the varsity traveled to Cripple Creek Country Club for a conference match with Indian River High School. Their next home contest will be Tuesday, April 3, when they host Laurel.