May 4, 2001
Fans of the Cape Henlopen High School golf team know how the long-suffering fans of the Boston Red Sox feel.
Once again, the Vikings came up tantalizingly short in their May 1 match with Dover High School, losing the match 152-157 against the perennial Henlopen Conference powerhouse. The battle at Rehoboth Beach Country Club between the state’s number 1 and number 2 ranked golf teams was well attended, at least by scholastic golf standards, as a few dozen spectators watched a close contest come down to the last foursome before Dover eked out the win.
Like Boston Sox fans, who’ve watched many good teams fail to break through the Yankee barrier, in recent years the Vikings fans endured close-but-not-quite contests. Last year, for example, the two teams tied in one match, and Dover won the other contest by a single stroke.
Coach Jerry Dorneman and others thought this year’s squad had a good chance to break the cycle of futility. “We had a shot. This was probably our best chance in a long time to beat them, but it just wasn’t to be,” said the disappointed Dorneman.
Some comfort could be found from the fact that the Senators were forced to put together a strong combined effort to win, with four golfers scoring in the 30s from the blue tees. Cape recently pulled off that scoring feat for the first time when it beat Milford, but couldn’t duplicate the performance on Tuesday. As Dorneman put it, “We had two in the 30s, they had four, and that was the difference.”
John Lust took medalist honors with a season-low 35 as the third golfer in the Dover rotation. Mike Catts, the Senators’ number 1 golfer, came through with a 39, which was matched by the number 4 and 5 golfers, Tyler Smith and Brock Cerklefskie.
Will Scarborough, Dover’s number 2 golfer, shot a somewhat surprising 42, matched by the Senators’ number 6 golfer, Ryan Wisler.
Tyler Witman led the Viking squad with a 36, including a bogey on the ninth hole. “I birdied the first hole, and made par from the sand on the third hole. I was only 162 yards out after my drive on the [par 5] 4th hole, but I flew the green with an 8-iron for the second shot, and could only make par. I lipped out my birdie putts on numbers 5, 6, and 7. On the ninth hole, I had a tough lie for my third shot, and missed the green. I couldn’t get it up and down for par. I played okay,” Witman said, but he was obviously disappointed.
Mark Johnson fired a good 37, with birdies on the third, fourth, and fifth holes. “I bogeyed the first and second holes, then had the run of birdies, and then drove into the water on the sixth hole for a bogey. I bogeyed the seventh hole, too, and parred 8 and 9.”
J.J. Oakley was not pleased with his 40. “I was doing alright, and then I bogeyed 3 of the last 4 holes.”
Jason Ritthaler, the Vikings’ fifth golfer, shot a 44, a stroke or two under his season average. “I drove into the water on the sixth hole and made triple bogey. Then I drove out of bounds on the eighth hole and got another triple.”
The Vikings’ number 4 golfer, Adam Talley, sat slumped in his car after the round. His dejection at his 46 score was painful to observe. “It was my worst round of the year. I just lost it,” the subdued young player softly explained.
Cape’s number 6 golfer, Chris Donovan, said he “couldn’t get anything started” in his round, and shot a 47.
Last week’s match with Sussex Central led to a happier result, but it clearly didn’t mean as much to the squad as a victory over Dover would have meant. The Vikings beat the Golden Knights on April 26 at Sussex Pines Country Club by 159-187. Witman won medalist honors with a one-over-par 37, followed by Johnson’s 39, Talley’s 41, and Oakley’s 42.
The 7-1 Vikings next play Polytech on May 3, and have a non-conference rematch with Dover on May 10 at Maple Dale Country Club.