March 13, 2009
Over thirty young golfers are trying out for this year’s edition of the Cape Henlopen High School golf team. That has to be good news for the Viking squad, as well as for the long-term prospects for junior golf in the Cape Region.
The spring sports season had a bit of a delay this year, however, with several inches of recent snow reminding the players and coaches that winter is still with us for a while.
“We lost a week,” said Claudio Smarrelli, the head golf coach. “We’ll be trying to consolidate two weeks of work into one. I’m looking forward to it, though. I’ve got a lot of good players. We should be strong for the next two years at least,” he said.
On Monday March 9, the team huddled around the practice green and sand trap at Rehoboth Beach Country Club, the long time host course for the Vikings. This year all of the home matches will be played on the course, beginning with the traditional starting match against Caesar Rodney High School on March 24.
Dan Scrutchfield, Sean Toner, and Tristan Karsnitz form the senior nucleus for the team, although Karsnitz won’t be appearing on the course for a while yet. A recent soccer injury sidelined the talented golfer for a few more weeks. Junior Casey Anderson also returns to the varsity squad, along with sophomores Matthew Kersey, Devin Medd, and Nicholas Purnell.
Other Cape golfers will try to make the varsity team, including two new transfers. Shane Ghigliotty is coming over from Sussex Central, and William Roca moved to Cape from Worcester Prep in Maryland.
A few young golfers are continuing the Cape tradition that golf is a coed sport for the Vikings. Jacqueline Block, Anna Caras, and Shannon Desmond are busy trying to show Coach Smarrelli that they can also contribute.
Other young golfers who may eventually jump up to the varsity from the JV squad include Ryan Coleman, Matthew Demoga, Joshua England, James Fenstermaker, Anthony Halloran, Alexander Jenks, Connor Jones, James Kersey, Sam McMahon, Christopher Ragni, Andrew Ricker, Mark Schatz, William Shaffer, Mitchell Taylor, Steven Walker, Andrew Westgate, and Joshua Willey.
Varsity experience will be a little harder to obtain this year, compared to the competition practices of prior seasons. In the past, up to ten or more kids could play per team in a varsity round, although the scores of only the best four of the top six players actually counted.
Smarrelli said that at a Henlopen Conference coaches’ meeting last year, they decided that only eight kids and two coaches per team would be allowed on the courses during the varsity matches. That shortens the overall playing time, but it also cuts into some potentially useful exposure to match play.
After hosting Caesar Rodney March 24, the Vikings next play Delmar March 26. Then they play upstate powerhouse Salesianum, before playing against a series of traditional Henlopen Conference rivals such as Dover, Indian River, Lake Forest, Laurel, Milford, Seaford, Smyrna, Sussex Central, Sussex Tech, and Polytech.
The Vikings will also face Woodbridge, a relative newcomer to high school golf, and also meet up with Delmarva Christian and St. Mark’s. They will also play a scrimmage match against Sussex Tech at The Peninsula, before the season begins in earnest.
Oakley begins his European Tour swing
Pete Oakley, the Rookery’s Director of Golf, started his 2009 season on the European Senior Tour with a trip to Brunei, playing in the Aberdeen Brunei Senior Masters presented by The Stapleford Forum from February 27 to March 1. Oakley finished in a tie for 27th place with his 68-73-74 (215) score for the three days, and earned just over 2,800 Euros for his efforts.
Oakley’s 68 included a hole-in-one with a five-iron on the seventh hole, which might be a nice omen for him for the rest of the season.
His next Tour event is closer to home, at the DGM Barbados Open, scheduled for March 18-20.