He spent the last seven months as a member of the Morristown cross country and indoor track teams, but now, Evan Quinn gets the chance to really shine.
Quinn made a huge impact last year as a freshman, instantly going from an unknown to one of the premier golfers in Morris County.
Now, Quinn is a sophomore. He’s no longer an unknown commodity. He’s considered the top returning player in a very competitive county.
But Quinn doesn’t want to look at it that way at all.
“I still consider myself an unknown,” Quinn said. “I try to play as an underdog. I did much better playing from behind. I like playing quietly much more.”
It’s hard to be silent, when Quinn is coming off a fantastic freshman campaign.
He finished in a tie for low score at last year’s Morris County Championships, firing a 71, only to lose to 2013 All Daily Record Golfer of the Year Kevin Godart of Delbarton in a one-hole playoff. Quinn was fourth in the NJSIAA state sectionals, was third at the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference championship and shot an 80 to finish in the top half of the state at the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions.
“Even if I might have a little target on my back, I’ll be able to handle it,” Quinn said.
Quinn was asked if running throughout the fall and winter actually helps his golf game.
“Running cross country and track takes an extra amount of dedication and focus,” Quinn said. “Mentally, I really had to be sharp. You put all that time into training and it all comes down to the big races. It’s easy to bring that mental approach to the golf course. If I play my best and execute my shots, I can come out on top.”
Quinn doesn’t know if running helps his stamina, especially when playing 18 holes in tournament golf.
“Let’s put it this way, running certainly didn’t hurt,” Quinn said. “I never really had a problem with conditioning. Running did help my lower body and my back. That helps my swing and my consistency. But my swing is pretty swing is pretty simple.”
Quinn believes that his freshman experience helped him to get ready for this upcoming sophomore campaign.
“I think the experience is the best thing I have going for me,” Quinn said. “Last year, I was a little intimidated and a little nervous. I didn’t think I played well with the team atmosphere and having other people relying on you. Coming into this season, I think we have a good team and I’m ready to play at a higher level. Having that one year under my belt is very beneficial.”
While Quinn looks to be the top individual heading into the 2014 season, Delbarton once again should contend for top team honors, as it has for six of the last seven years.
Head coach Sean Flanagan lost some talented golfers to graduation, but welcomes back standouts like Will Voetsch and Ty Zebrowski.
“We have a solid foundation coming back,” Flanagan said. “I’d love to see Will Voetsch to step up and become a phenomenal player. He definitely has the talent and potential to do so. Ty has been a four-year player on our team and has been pretty steady. Those two should be the leaders of the team.”
The Green Wave did get a chance to go away and play some rounds at the PGA Village in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
“We had a great five days there and that helps a lot,” Flanagan said. “The courses up here are now all thawed out, but they’re muddy messes. The last thing the local courses want to do right now is put high school kids on the course. It’s been a long, rough winter up here. We haven’t been able to do much.”
Seniors Austin Gobbo and Will Pagano will move into the regular lineup this season, along with sophomore Griffin Carroll. Senior Jon Elsman is another who will see time.
“We haven’t had much time out together, so it’s hard to see what we have,” Flanagan said.
The Green Wave will see how they fare at the Blue Devil Invitational April 14. The Morris County Championships will take place April 24 at Flanders Valley. The NJSIAA state sectionals are slated for May 12 and the NJAC Championships May 27, also at Flanders Valley.
“I think we’ll be OK,” Flanagan said. “We’ve been through so much change, but Will and Ty are capable of filling some shoes. We might not have the tremendous amount of depth we’ve had in the past, but you can never have enough young guys in the lineup.”
West Morris has enough returning talent to cause some havoc at both the county and NJAC championships.
Blake DiPaola and Tommy Hayes are two top returning golfers for the Wolfpack.
Quinn and Morristown should be competitive, as should Jefferson, with Vinny Cannarozzi returning for the Falcons.