High school golf: Loaded Vineland and Prep highlight area

High school golf: Loaded Vineland and Prep highlight area

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High school golf: Loaded Vineland and Prep highlight area

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Here’s a closer look at the high school golf teams in Greater Cumberland County:

Vineland

Vineland

Coach: Mike Brosh (6th season, 41-52)

Conference: Cape-Atlantic League American Conference

Group: IV South/Central

Last year: 19-3

Returning starters: 4

Key returners: Eric Dargis (Jr.), Cody Freese (Sr.), Ricky Acosta (Sr.), Jeff Rowan (Sr.).

Top newcomers: Kenny Andaloro (Sr.), Dominick Ciancaglini (Fr.), Jacob Kell (Fr.).

Outlook: The Fighting Clan made their first trip to the Group IV South/Central tournament since 2005 last year and their top four scorers return, meaning back-to-back postseason trips are definitely a possibility.

Dargis was the area’s No. 2 player last year, averaging 39.18 for the season. He’s been strong this preseason, shooting around par.

Freese came in just behind Dargis last season, averaging 39.19. He had 11 sub-40 rounds, and should be even stronger this year.

Acosta and Rowan were no slouches on the course either, as they both averaged in the low-40s as juniors. With another year’s experience, those numbers should drop again.

If one of those four struggles on a given day, Andaloro, Ciancaglini and Kell will be counted on to come in with a low score.

Prediction: Vineland brings back its core from last year, which was the best season the program has had in Brosh’s tenure. With another year under the kids’ belts, there’s no reason to think the Fighting Clan can’t improve even more.

Millville

Millville

Coach: Terry Nugent (14th year)

Conference: CAL American

Group: IV South/Central

Last year: 2-14

Returning starters: 1

Key returners: Tyler Loteck (Jr.).

Top newcomers: Karina Perez (Jr.), Abby Cossaboon (Jr.), Fred Smith (Jr.), Andrew Stone (Jr.), Nick Makos (Soph.).

Outlook: The Thunderbolts are playing at a new home course with a host of new varsity players this season.

With Cohanzick Country Club shut down, Millville moved to Eastlyn Golf Course in Vineland for its home matches this year. The squad will play holes 3-11, which comes to a par-34. Expect some low scores on the course.

Loteck should produce a nice average at Eastlyn. He was one of six players to break par in a round last season.

However, the rest of the Thunderbolts are just learning the game, which means it could be a long year for the program.

Prediction: Loteck should qualify for the CAL Tournament and have a solid average, but as a team, Millville will have a hard time getting wins. Improvement should be the squad’s goal.

Buena

Buena

Coach: Bill McGonigle (11th season, 65-132)

Conference: CAL National

Group: II South/Central

Last year: 10-11

Returning starters: 4

Key returners: Shea Simons (Jr.), Lana MacDonald (Sr.), Jerry Geese (Jr.), Tyler Allen (Jr.).

Top newcomers: Janice Shpadier (Soph.), Ken Weightman (Fr.), Jason Belfi (Sr.), Kris Albert (Jr.).

Outlook: The Chiefs have fallen just short of .500 three of the past four seasons, but may be on the verge getting over the hump as four of the squad’s top five players are back.

Simons has developed into one of the area’s better players, and after averaging just under 42 last year, should be able to challenge the 40 mark this season.

MacDonald and Geese were both in the mid-40s last year, and should at least match that success.

Allen has had some success in his time with the team, but it’s been inconsistent. Shpadier could be a solid contributor as well, as McGonigle expects her to shoot anywhere between the mid-to-high 40s.

Prediction: The Chiefs should once again be around the .500 mark, and with as much experience as they have back, there’s no reason to think they can’t climb above it.

Sacred Heart

Sacred Heart

Coach: Tom DiPietro (3rd season, 37-9)

Conference: CAL National

Group: Non-Public B South/Central

Last year: 17-4

Returning starters: 2

Key returners: Nick Calabrese (Sr.), Steven Tobolski (Soph.).

Top newcomers: Michael Maguire (Fr.), Patrick Hennessey (Soph.), Ernie Scoma (Jr.).

Outlook: The Lions have had a lot of success under coach DiPietro, but this will be his toughest challenge to date.

Sacred Heart lost three players that averaged below 43 to graduation, leaving Calabrese and Tobolski as the squad’s only returning players. However, DiPietro is happy with their games and he hopes they can average in the high-30s or low-40s.

He’s also excited about Maguire, who has impressed so far in the preseason and could average in the mid-40s or better. DiPietro expects Hennessey and Scoma to work their way into the mix as well.

Prediction: The Lions won’t be able to compete with the top teams in the CAL, but there’s enough talent that the squad should at least be fighting for a record above .500.

St. Augustine

St. Augustine

Coach: Lenny Dolson (16th season, 272-11)

Conference: CAL American

Group: Non-Public A South/Central

Last year: 16-0

Returning starters: 4

Key returners: Cody Dazen (Sr.), Mark Benevento (Soph.), Garrett Catalana (Sr.), Jimmy Pagliaccetti (Soph.).

Top newcomers: Luke Sliwowski (Fr.), Mike Toner (Soph.).

Outlook: The Hermits have notched three undefeated seasons in the past four years, and with the talent the Prep has back, there’s a good chance it can make it four out of five.

Dazen, the two-time Daily Journal Player of the Year and defending CAL and Carl Arena champion, is back. He averaged 36.9 last year, but expect that number to drop again this season. He spent roughly two months over the winter playing at the Core Golf Academy in Orlando, Fla., so his game is already sharp. Dolson called him one of the best players in the state.

Benevento had a very good freshman year for St. Augustine, as he averaged 40.3. He’s gotten a little bigger, which should help lower his scores even more.

Sliwowski has already impressed this preseason, as Dolson expects him to be in the 30s several times throughout the year.

Toner, Catalana and Pagliaccetti all have the ability to break 40 on any given day as well, meaning Dolson expects to have four players shoot in the 30s every match this year.

Prediction: The Hermits missed the Tournament of Champions last year, but don’t expect that to happen again. This team is loaded, is a favorite to win the CAL American and is a challenger for a sectional title.

Delsea

Delsea

Coach: Brian Carione (10th season, 103-64)

Conference: Tri-County Conference Royal Division

Group: II South/Central

Last year: 9-8

Returning starters: 2

Key returners: Joe Coffin (Sr.), Jordan Casey (Sr.).

Top newcomers: Alex Titus (Soph.).

Outlook: The Crusaders have arguably the top female golfer in the area, but there’s a lot of uncertainties surrounding the team behind her.

Casey averaged around 43 last season, and should creep closer to 40 this year. Coffin is the team’s other returner, and he should post a sub-45 average this season.

The rest of the squad is relatively green, though Titus, a standout swimmer for Delsea, appears to have a nice game. Carione wouldn’t be surprised if he’s shooting in the mid-40s on a consistent basis.

The rest of the lineup will likely feature seniors Brandon Beebe and Karon Holloway and junior Steve Cooke.

Prediction: With the questions surrounding the back half of the team’s lineup, reaching .500 would amount to a good season for Delsea.

Cumberland boys

Cumberland boys

Coach: John Earnest (1st season second stint, 8th overall, 88-26)

Conference: TCC Diamond

Group: III South/Central

Last year: 3-18

Returning starters: 6

Key returners: Mike Raczenbek (Soph.), Scott DeLussa (Soph.), Parker Smith (Soph.), Tyler Smith (Soph.), Cody Kazaoka (Sr.), Blake Kazaoka (Jr.).

Top newcomers: N/A

Outlook: After a year away from the team, Earnest is back at the helm, and he inherits a squad with a lot of young, but experienced talent.

The team brings back its top six players from a season ago, headlined by Raczenbek, who had a really good freshman campaign, averaging 40.8 for the year. He broke 40 six times, and should be able to increase that total this season.

The rest of the squad was in the high-40s, low-50s last season, but their numbers should improve. Tyler Smith in particular is someone to keep an eye on, as Earnest said he’s had a good preseason.

Prediction: The Colts should definitely improve on their three-win total from last year, but they might be a year away from taking a huge leap forward.

Cumberland girls

Cumberland girls

Coach: Todd Jorgenson (1st season second stint, 6th overall, 21-15)

Conference: N/A

Group: III South/Central

Last year: 2-3

Returning starters: 5

Key returners: Courtney Roesch (Sr.), Amber Sprenger (Sr.), Ashley Evans (Jr.), Devin Hanaoka (Jr.), Courtney Muzick (Jr.).

Top newcomers: N/A

Outlook: Jorgenson is back leading the team after spending last year as the Colts’ boys coach.

During the preseason, the squad has shown some improvement, which leads him to believe there are a few girls on the squad that can average in the 50s on a consistent basis.

Prediction: The Colts only play a five-match schedule, so splitting their matches would be considered a success.

Schalick

Schalick

Coach: Doug Smith (29th season)

Conference: TCC Classic

Group: I South/Central

Last year: 7-9

Returning starters: 3

Key returners: Gage Kirstein (Sr.), Tiffany O’Connor (Sr.), James Papiano (Sr.).

Top newcomers: Ryan Brodo (Jr.), Jacob Harris (Fr.).

Outlook: The Cougars were inconsistent last year, but with a trio of seniors leading the way in 2013, the team’s averages should fluctuate less.

Kirstein is the team’s leader, as he finished last year with a solid 41.9 average. He should be around that same number again this year.

O’Connor and Papiano were both in the high-40s range as juniors, but appear poised to drop a few strokes this season.

Brodo was a part-time scorer for Schalick this year, but he had a nice scrimmage in the preseason where he shot 44. He should be one of the team’s top four players this year.

Prediction: A little more consistency would go a long way for the Cougars this season. Schalick should be around .500 when the dust settles.

Bridgeton

Bridgeton

Coach: Dan Martinez (3rd season, 3-35)

Conference: CAL National

Group: II South/Central

Last year: 2-15

Returning starters: 1

Key returners: Tyler Arrigo (Sr.).

Top newcomers: Eduardo Perez (Soph.), Naheem Bartee (Soph.), Bryan Penn (Jr.).

Outlook: Like Millville, Bridgeton has a new home, moving to Wild Oaks in Salem from Cohanzick.

The course difficulty is definitely a notch up, which should give the team a better opportunity to improve its game.

While the Bulldogs overall are inexperienced, Arrigo, who qualified for the CAL Tournament last year, is a solid No. 1. Martinez believes he’ll finish the season with an average in the low-40s, at worst.

Behind him, however, is a bunch of question marks. Bartee and Penn are both showing some potential, but will take some time, while sophomore Alim Money is very athletic and has a lot of room to improve.

Prediction: With the team’s lack of depth, it’ll be hard for Bridgeton to crack the win column more than a couple times this season.

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High school golf: Loaded Vineland and Prep highlight area

Coach: Mike Brosh (6th season, 41-52)

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