Pleasantville senior Scott Sessions found it humorous that the season when he essentially stopped practicing was arguably his most successful.
“It’s a funny thing,” Sessions said. “The section tournament was two weeks away when it hit me and I had to wake up.”
The Journal News/LoHud.com Westchester/Putnam Boys Golfer of the Year attributed his lack of focus on the course to a combination of final-year blahs and an emphasis on his studies.
“I definitely had a bad case of ‘senior-itis,’ ” Sessions said. “I also wanted to focus on school and applying to colleges.”
A caddie at Knollwood Country Club, Sessions said that despite his love of the game, golf was not a priority in his final school year.
“The last three years I played every day, even after work, even if I was tired,” Sessions said. “This year, I thought a lot about everything, and it wasn’t all about golf.”
Of course his new outlook on the game didn’t deter his drive to win a sectional championship.
“Scott had an up-and-down season this year,” Pleasantville coach Bob Delle Bovi said. “He wasn’t as consistent as last year, but he knew what he wanted to accomplish.”
After a rocky start, the senior went on to win the sectional title, taking home the crown by one stroke over Ardsley’s Anthony Berardo with a two-day total of 149.
While winning the tournament with any score is impressive, Sessions had an uphill battle before the back nine of round one at Mahopac Golf Club. Sessions was 5-over for the first four holes, then re-grouped to par out the remainder of the round.
“I told myself to calm down. I knew there was a lot of golf left,” Sessions said.
“I don’t really have a good mental game; it’s my weakness. I just put things into perspective the rest of the tournament.”
Delle Bovi, who also taught Sessions in first-period English class this school year, said the senior’s demeanor on the course translated to the classroom, and vise versa.
“He’s a smart golfer,” Delle Bovi said. “He stays and plays within himself.
“He’s a hard worker, and he takes criticism well.”
Sessions’ hard work will take him to Farmingdale State College next year, where he plans to play golf for the Rams.
“(Farmingdale) coach Tom Azzara is a really great guy,” Sessions said. “You can tell he really cares about his players and that he’s not some guy who just makes the schedule, then sits behind a desk and does nothing.”
After two state-tournament appearances and a sectional championship, Sessions said that although he is happy with what he accomplished at Pleasantville, there was one thing left on his bucket list.
“After I finished 17th at states last year, I knew the top five advance to the Federation tournament,” he said. “I kind of wanted that.”
The rest of the all-star first team includes:
Jackie Barnes, Carmel: The senior led after the first round of the sectional tournament en route to a repeat berth at states. Barnes almost made the trip with his younger brother, Gray Barnes, who missed the state cut by five strokes. Barnes will play Division II golf at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla.
Anthony Berardo, Ardsley: For the second consecutive year, Berardo was the runner-up at the sectional tournament. The senior was the only member of this year’s Section 1 team to be making his third consecutive trip to states. Berardo will join Nick Delango of Stony Point as a member of two-time NCAA Division II tournament qualifier Saint Thomas Aquinas College.
Nicole Morales, John Jay: After a torrid regular season in which she posted the seventh-best average differential in the section (1.98) competing against the boys, the sophomore passed on the sectional tournament and team championship to play in the prestigious Thunderbird International Junior tournament in Arizona.
Ian Palfrey, Bronxville: If Palfrey were not an honest person, he would have gone to states, and Suffern’s Ryan Miller would not have tied for fifth at the tournament. The senior called a two-stroke penalty on himself to force a playoff for the final state spot. Palfrey lost to Miller in two playoff holes. His honesty won him the respect of virtually every coach and player in the section.
Sean Trainor, White Plains: The junior enjoyed both individual and team success, clinching a spot in the state tournament and leading the Tigers to the team Section 1 championship, both for the second consecutive year.
Coach of the Year
Joan Behrends, White Plains: The Tigers simply mauled the competition. Behrends sent five players to the sectional tournament (topped only by Scarsdale), had a state representative in Sean Trainor and almost sent another in his younger brother, Brendan. White Plains (18-1) repeated as Section 1 team champion after successfully defending its Conference II championship a week earlier. With no seniors on the team, the Tigers should return every player next spring.
Christian Cavaliere, Somers, 8th
Michael DiTursi, Harrison, Sr.
Andrew Gladstone, Rye, Sr.
Martin Jensen, Bronxville, Fr.
James Nicholas, Scarsdale, Fr.
Tyler Stagg, White Plains, Jr.
Henry Bailey, Rye, Jr.; James Baker, Scarsdale, Fr.; Gray Barnes, Carmel, Jr.; Nick Becerra, Dobbs Ferry, Jr.; Jack Bender, Sleepy Hollow, Jr.; Alex Berton, John Jay, Jr.; Jesse Brandt, Scarsdale, Jr.; Bear Carlson, John Jay, Fr.; Kevin Crowell, Fox Lane, Sr.; Tom D’Andrea, Yorktown, Jr.; Connor Daly, Bronxville, 8th; Charlie Dugan, Carmel, Sr.; Josh Goldenberg, Scarsdale, Fr.; Michael Hanrahan, Yorktown, So.; Brent Ito, Ardsley, 8th; Brian Kehoe, John Jay, Sr.; Jacob Lenchner, Scarsdale, So.; Chris Malisse, Somers, Jr.; Colin McCree, Fox Lane, Jr.; James McHugh, Rye, 8th; Harrison Moyle, Briarcliff, Fr.; Taiken Nakada, White Plains, 8th; Henrik Rubin, Fox Lane, Jr.; Anthony Scarcella, Scarsdale, So.; Ray Schuttenberg, Briarcliff, Sr.; Will Simons, Briarcliff, Sr.; Nikhil Sodhi, Scarsdale, So.; Reid Title, Scarsdale, Sr.; Brendan Trainor, White Plains, So.