May 3, 2002
Jerry Dorneman was hot.
From what I could tell, the Cape Henlopen golf coach was justified.
Suppose your team showed up for a golf match, and the other team didn’t?
Last February, well before the official start of the season, the match between Polytech High School and Cape was shifted to May 1 from the previously scheduled date. The Vikings remained as the host team, but Rehoboth Beach Country Club was already committed for the Delaware State Golf Association Spring Warmup tournament on May 2-3, along with Kings Creek Country Club.
As the season began, Dorneman handed out team schedules to team members, the press, and parents. The May 1 date for Polytech was there on the calendar.
So where was the other team?
Dorneman didn’t know. When he called up Wednesday afternoon after the no-show, he said their response was “They didn’t have it on their calendar.”
“I don’t know where the problem was. This was already fixed, as far as I knew. It’s not fair to the players or their parents who come to the matches. I don’t know when it’ll be rescheduled, or even where, but at the least it should be down here at Old Landing Golf Course.”
Dorneman frankly hoped that the Polytech match would give his squad a chance to recover from their erratic play against Dover the day before, when they lost at Maple Dale Country Club 157-177.
Tyler Witman took medalist honors by a single stroke, shooting an even par round on the front 9. “I bogeyed the first, birdied the second, bogeyed the third, parred the fourth, and bogeyed the fifth. Real consistent. Then on six, I hit a driver/pitching wedge to the green, and sunk a 25 foot putt for birdie.”
I watched his 30 foot birdie putt on the seventh hole. It was never in doubt. Witman’s mother, who was standing next to me, smacked my arm with her excited response.
The rest of the team struggled, however. Shannon Prettyman’s 46 was the next best score.
“The red tees [the girls hit from] were completely back. There was no advantage at all,” she said.
Prettyman’s lone par for the day was itself unusual, featuring a drive into the pond off the tee. “Fortunately, I faded it into the water, so I was able to take a drop. I made a nice recovery shot and then made a one-putt for par. But I also had 2 bogeys, some doubles, and I tripled the [par 3] 8th hole. I took two to get out of the left side trap.”
Brad Schneider shot a 47 against the Senators. “I played pretty bad. I found the trees off the tee, and didn’t recover well. It was pretty windy out there.”
Brett Hertel’s 48 completed the scoring for the Vikings. “I started out with a triple on the 6th hole. I had five bad swings and two bad putts, including a missed three-footer for double. I bogeyed 7 and doubled 8 and 9. Then I parred 1, and bogeyed the rest, so I finished okay after the bad start. That course played a lot longer than Rehoboth, to me.”
On Thursday, April 25, the team played ten strokes better, beating Sussex Central at Rehoboth Beach CC by 167-185. Witman led all players with a 39. Brad Schneider and Prettyman both shot 42s, and Christina Wagamon’s 44 finished the Viking scoring on a blustery day.
Dorneman noted this week that there are no more guaranteed appearances for the upcoming state high school golf championships. “Only the top 16 teams in the state are eligible. The kids have to finish well. If we beat Seaford and Polytech, then I think we’ll make it. If they lose both, then I think it’ll be questionable. If they lose one of these two matches, then it’s a maybe.”
Maybe they’ll be able to fix their scheduling woes, too.