The top golfers and teams for the upcoming high school golf season in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties.
Christian Cavaliere, Somers: Cavaliere finished second in Section 1 in scoring differential last season. He qualified for a third straight state team and shared the first-round lead with Brent Ito before falling into a tie for 14th.
Connor Daly, Bronxville: After posting the 10th-best scoring differential in the section, Daly tied for second at the Section 1 tournament. He was then the highest finisher among Bronxville’s three members of the state team, tying for 21st.
Brent Ito, Ardsley: The 2014 Section 1 champ posted the section’s best scoring differential last season. Now a senior, he will attempt to qualify for the state team for the fourth straight year. He held a share of the first-round lead at last year’s state tournament and eventually tied for 24th.
James McHugh, Rye: A year after returning from IMG Academy in Florida, McHugh braved blustery weather in the final round and won the Section 1 tournament by four shots. The junior tied Cavaliere for 14th at states. Because of his transfer, this will be McHugh’s last year of eligibility.
Matt Minerva, Iona Prep: After two years as a sectional qualifier as a middle school student at Valhalla, the talented Minerva enrolled at Iona Prep as a freshman. He will challenge for the No. 1 spot in the Gaels’ lineup. Minerva had the fourth-best scoring differential in Section 1 as an eighth-grader.
Paul Terminello, Stepinac: Now a senior, Terminello is already a two-time qualifier for the state Federation tournament. He was the No. 1 player last season for Stepinac, which reached the CHSAA team championship match.
Keep an eye on: Matt Bettino, Sr., Bronxville; Kyra Cox, So., John Jay; Chris Gay, Sr., Bronxville; Aidan McDermott, Sr., Pleasantville; Sol Thompson, Jr., Scarsdale; Angela Tocco, Sr., Tappan Zee.
Top 5 teams
1. Bronxville: The Broncos are the only team in the section to return three players who qualified for the state team. Seniors Connor Daly, Chris Gay and Matt Bettino will lead the Broncos, who return four starters from the Section 1 team champions.
2. Rye: Including defending sectional champ James McHugh, the Garnets have five of their six starters back. Three others qualified for sectionals last year: seniors Will Gladstone and Matt Shainberg and sophomore Max Kenney.
3. Scarsdale: The Raiders will try to reload after graduating 2015 state champ James Nicholas (Yale) — the Westchester/Putnam player of the year — and 2014 Federation champ Josh Goldenberg (Penn). Junior Sol Thompson was a state qualifier and senior Jonny Emmerman was an alternate. Scarsdale will have 24 other players vying for the other four starting spots, including several promising young players.
4. Stepinac: The Crusaders won’t play second fiddle to Iona Prep and Fordham Prep in the CHSAA this year. They return six of their top seven from last year’s league finalists, including seniors Paul Terminello and Brendan Cooney, the team’s top two golfers. Cooney suffered a broken hand during an all-CHSHL hockey season, but he’s expected to return in mid-April.
5. Tappan Zee: The Dutchmen return first-team all-Rockland players Angela Tocco and Frank Lavery, who are both now seniors. Sophomore Tim Burke and senior Sean Lavery should round out a very strong lineup top to bottom that could challenge Westchester’s best for the Section 1 team title.
Keep an eye on: Fox Lane, Iona Prep, White Plains, Rye Country Day, Harrison
Section 1 tournament (girls): May 19 at Centennial Golf Club (Round 1); May 24 at Whippoorwill Club (Round 2)
Section 1 tournament (boys): May 23 at Waccabuc Country Club (Round 1); May 25 at Fenway Golf Club (Round 2)
Section 1 team championship: May 26, location is TBD
NYSPHSAA state championship (girls): June 4-5 at Bethpage State Park (Yellow Course), Farmingdale
NYSPHSAA state championship (boys): June 5-6 at Robert Trent Jones Golf Course at Cornell University, Ithaca
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