Golf preview: CBA boys golf team looks formidable again

Golf preview: CBA boys golf team looks formidable again

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Golf preview: CBA boys golf team looks formidable again

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COLTS NECK

There’s no denying that the three players at the top of the Christian Brothers Academy golfing lineup are as formidable a trio as has ever graced a Shore Conference boys golf team, with senior Ethan Wall and juniors Jerry Wall and Vince Palazzolo having combined for 14 top-5 finishes in major high school events, including three wins.

But to achieve the lofty goals the Colts have set for themselves in 2013, they’re going to need someone at the bottom of the lineup to push them over the top.

Like two years ago when Jerry Wall, then a freshman, was one of the last players to finish at the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions, posting a 76 at Neshanic Valley to cap off a record-setting state championship effort.

“We were just chatting up the 295 from two years ago,” said CBA coach Tim Sewnig of their five-shot victory over Bergen Catholic, breaking the previous tournament record by 10 shots.

“I could see that happening this year. We’ve got three freshman who made the team this year (Brendan Clark, Zack Giampolo and Aaron Raven), and one of them put up a 38 on a really nasty day. Whether or not they make the tournament team remains to be seen, but they’re exactly what we need right now. They’re inner tension on the team. They’re going to make everybody look over their shoulder and make sure they solidify their own spots.”

In addition to senior Toby Ryan, in the mix for a spot in the lineup, sophomores like Sean Farren and Jack Doherty are expected to compete for playing time.

“Three of us, we’ve been pretty consistent through our high school careers,” noted Ethan Wall. “We just need a couple of guys, maybe two or three of these guys, to step up. That would be big for us. I think if we have that fourth guy or two extra, fourth and fifth guys coming in, that would be big for this team.”

A year ago, the Colts fell short of their ultimate goal, posting a team total of 309 in soggy conditions at Hopewell Valley in the Tournament of Champions, six shots behind Burlington Township.

But the season was far from a disappointment, setting a record with a team total of 288 — an average of 72 for four players — in winning the Shore Conference Tournament, led by Palazzolo’s 69 at Charleston Springs in Millstone. They also added the Monmouth County and Central/South Non-Public A crowns.

“We were one trophy short last year,” said Jerry Wall. “It was tough because we thought we had one of the best teams we’ve ever had. Even better than the year we won TOC, so it was kind of disappointing that we didn’t play better at the Tournament of Champions. But it was still a great season.”

With all the success the CBA program has had over the years, winning the overall state championship four times since 1998, Sewnig understands the importance of keeping his players looking forward, not back.

“It’s a new year, a new season and we can’t rest on our laurels,” he said. “Last year was last year, so let’s make our own history.”

While the Colts are clearly the team to beat, there are a host of top contenders, both team-wise and individually, just waiting for an opportunity to pull off an upset.

Chief among them is Freehold Township, which returns its top two players — Jared Goldstein and Jason Oesterle — from a team that finished second to the Colts in both Monmouth County and the Shore Conference.

Individually, there figures to be a host of players vying for titles in the top area events, including St. Rose senior Tommy Burns and Howell sophomore Dawson Jones, with each winning an NJSIAA sectional title last year.

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