BISHOP EUSTACE CRUSADERS
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Expectations are high for Bishop Eustace, which graduated just one golfer and has a lot of young talent. Leading the way is junior Dave Batastini, who carded an 87 at the Carl Arena Tournament and consistently shot in the low 40s during matches. Senior Rob Dunn is another experienced upperclassman, and the Crusaders also bring back several promising sophomores who had an impact last year. That group includes Drew Skultety—who took third in the Olympic Conference National Division Tournament with an 86—as well as Peyton Vostenak, Brad Patterson, Dylan Laucks and Luke Wagner.
OUTLOOK: After finishing with an 8-8 record last year, the Crusaders should be even better now that their youngsters have a year of varsity experience.
CAMDEN CATHOLIC FIGHTING IRISH
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Camden Catholic has most of its leading golfers from last year back, including seniors Paul Fisherkeller and William Wang, who were the team’s top finishers at the Carl Arena Tournament and often claimed the top two spots during matches. Fisherkeller was the team’s Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player last year, and Wang made the all-conference second team. Junior Tom Paolini took second in the National Division at the Olympic Conference Tournament to earn all-conference first-team honors, and Greg Delcolombo is also a key returning junior who was an all-conference secondteamer. Other golfers who should contribute are seniors Liam Hart and Nick Bloss and junior Liam Riley.
OUTLOOK: The Irish have a solid core and it wouldn’t be surprising to see them improve on last year’s 5-12 record.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Cherokee graduated its No. 1 golfer, Colin Geary, who won the Burlington County Open two years ago and tied for second last season. But several talented golfers return, including junior Brandon Ronquillo and sophomore Louis Morici, who consistently placed in the top four during matches. Morici also had a solid showing at the Olympic Conference Tournament with an 87. Juniors Nic Montesanti and Jaden Bell shot in the 80s at the conference tourney as well, and senior Amanda Chen is another strong competitor who placed fifth at the South Jersey Ladies Invitational.
OUTLOOK: Although Geary is a huge loss for a team that finished with a 7-10 record, the promising youngsters provide hope for the Chiefs.
CHERRY HILL EAST COUGARS
PLAYERS TO WATCH: East only graduated three golfers, but they were three of the best on the team. Leading the returners is senior Justin Bryan, who often shot in the low 40s to place in the top four for the Cougars during matches last season. Bryan also shot an impressive 85 at the Olympic Conference Tournament. Seniors Kyle Ungerleider and Justin Janney are experienced returners who join Bryan as the most consistent golfers on the team. Other returners looking to step up include senior Noah Barch, juniors Zach Bornyasz and Yash Mehta and sophomores Brad Coolahan, Michelle Kim, Alex Rodriguez and Arth Sharma.
OUTLOOK: After finishing with a 10-7 record and placing in the top 20 at the Carl Arena Tournament, the Cougars hope to stay competitive.
CHERRY HILL WEST LIONS
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Almost the entire team is back for West, including No. 1 golfer Alex Covelli. The senior carded an 83 at the Carl Arena Tournament and was often the Lions’ first or second golfer during matches. Joe Villegas is another returning senior who forms a solid one two punch with Covelli. He was the team’s top competitor at the Olympic Conference Tournament with an 86. Seniors Derrick Chase, Sean Dugan and Andrew Ehrmann and junior John Leyrer are other experienced players who will look to keep improving their scores this spring.
OUTLOOK: Covelli and Villegas are golfers who can make noise at the various tournaments and the Lions hope to continue making progress as a team.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Clearview has an outstanding group of returners headlined by junior Shea Wolfle, one of the top golfers in South Jersey. Wolfle took third in the Carl Arena Tournament, as his 75 at Blue Heron Pines was just three strokes off the lead. He also took third in the Gloucester County Open and fourth in the Tri-County Conference Showcase. Billy Edwards is another impressive junior who carded a 77 to take second in the conference tournament. He added a top-10 finish in the county and a 14th-place effort at Carl Arena. Junior Jacob Diggons was also in the top 10 at both the county and conference tournaments, and sophomore Theresa Luu was the girls champion in Tri-County and qualified for the Tournament of Champions. Seniors Dominic Simoni and David Charles are other important returners who shoot in the low 40s over nine holes. Freshman Gage Wolfle, Shea’s brother, is expected to have an immediate impact and may crack the top six this year.
OUTLOOK: The Pioneers’ many accomplishments in 2015 included a 14-1 record, the Tri-County Showcase team title, a second-place finish in the county and a 10th-place finish at Carl Arena. They should be contenders at all of those tournaments again this spring.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Although Eastern graduated several key golfers, including No. 1 Ryan Zinsky, the young talent is reason for optimism. Sophomore Justin Choi carded a 78 at Ramblewood Country Club to win the Olympic Conference Tournament. He also shot an 85 at the Carl Arena Tournament as a rookie and has a bright future ahead of him. Junior Rahil Patel consistently placed in the top three during matches and shot an 87 at Carl Arena, and Joel Hark is another sophomore who had an impact as a freshman, as he carded an 82 in the conference tourney. Junior Jaymin Kang could also be ready for a bigger role.
OUTLOOK: The Vikings went 15-3 in 2015, a remarkable 12-win improvement from the season before, and took seventh in the team standings at Carl Arena to go with a third-place finish in the Camden County Tournament. They should be fun to watch again this spring.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Gloucester Catholic suffered heavy losses to graduation and also lost a top performer to transfer, as senior Gary Eastlack is now at an academy in Virginia playing ice hockey. Leading the returners are junior Chris Colman—whose solid sophomore campaign included a 90 at Carl Arena—and sophomore Matt Masiejczyk, who showed potential as a freshman. Juniors Eddie Wiechecki and Mike Nuss are also hoping to contribute.
OUTLOOK: The Rams posted a 10-7 record and took sixth at the Tri-County Conference Showcase last year. They’ll have to turn to some new players this season but should still be a tough foe.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Haddonfield graduated one of the best golfers in the area in Jake Klaus, who was the Group I state champion. Also gone is No. 2 golfer Sam Timonen, the son of former Flyer Kimmo Timonen who is spending his senior year playing hockey at a boarding school in Connecticut. Taking over leadership of the team will be several players who gained valuable experience last year, including senior Tanner Reese and juniors Mary McGuiness and Rees Kirk. Reese and McGuiness both had strong showings at the Carl Arena Tournament, carding an 85 and 87, respectively. Seniors Drew Tomlinson and Craig Melendes and sophomore David Doyle will also look to step into bigger roles.
OUTLOOK: The Bulldawgs’ sensational 2015 campaign featured their second straight South Jersey Group I title and a second-place finish in Group I at the Tournament of Champions. It’s not fair to expect another 15-1 season considering their losses to graduation, but this program has a proven track record and should stay competitive.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Kingsway returns a talented duo at the top of its lineup in seniors Dan Gable and Christian Cendejas. Gable was usually the Dragons’ top performer during matches and placed 20th in the Tri-County Conference Showcase. He also carded a solid 88 at the Carl Arena Tournament. Cendejas, meanwhile, had an excellent Gloucester County Open, shooting a 75 at Pitman Golf Course to take sixth. Junior Mike Moss and seniors Michael Ranalli and Matt Pollock are also important returners, while senior Paige Silvia is among the top female golfers in the area. She was the Gloucester County champion and placed third in the conference.
OUTLOOK: After finishing with a 12-5 record and taking fourth in the county, the Dragons have most of their best golfers back and look primed for another successful season.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior Erica Han has already accomplished so much during her stellar career and it will be interesting to see what she can do in her final season. Last spring the Towson recruit shot a 77 at the Carl Arena Tournament to place eighth overall and first among the female competitors for the second year in a row. She also took second in the South Jersey Ladies Invitational, sixth in the Olympic Conference Tournament and carded a 79 at the Tournament of Champions, good for 14th place. Junior Adam Hoversen is another key returner who shot an 87 at Carl Arena. He also had a strong season on the Philadelphia Section PGA Junior Tour, placing in the top 10 in four of six tournaments. Juniors Leo Christou and Joe Nuneviller will also be counted on during matches and other returners hoping to contribute are seniors Alyse Headley and Dan O’Callaghan and junior Sean Donnelly.
OUTLOOK: The Indians’ 13-4 season included an eighth-place showing at the Carl Arena Tournament and a tie for third at the Burlington County Open. With Han leading the way, another strong season is on the horizon.
MOORESTOWN QUAKERS (boys)
PLAYERS TO WATCH: The Moorestown boys bring back a solid core that includes seniors Eric Piro and Sean O’Sullivan and junior Shravann Raja. Piro was the Quakers’ highest finisher as the Burlington County Open, carding an 85 to tie for 16th place. O’Sullivan shot an 82 at sectionals and Raja carded a 79 at the Burlington County Scholastic League year-end tournament. Senior Brett Siefried is another solid returner who had an 86 at the county tourney and an 87 at the Carl Arena Tournament. Junior Matt Gerber took 22nd place at Carl Arena with an 81, while juniors John Hernick and Devin Trivedi are other key veterans.
OUTLOOK: The Quakers have high hopes for 2016 after finishing with a 13-3 record and claiming fifth place at the county tournament last year.
MOORESTOWN QUAKERS (girls)
PLAYERS TO WATCH: The Moorestown girls graduated two terrific players in Gillian Marini and Aine Filler, who won the South Jersey title as well as the South Jersey Ladies Invitational. Key veterans returning are senior Bela Delvadia and juniors Katelyn Bigley and Megan Duman, who carded a 90 at sectionals. Sophomores Rose Litt and Emma Mueller had promising rookie seasons and should also be important golfers this year.
OUTLOOK: The Quakers’ 9-4 season included their first trip to the Meet of Champions since 2010. Losing Filler and Marini is clearly a big blow, but the team has already started its individual winter workouts to prepare for another successful season.
MOORESTOWN FRIENDS FOXES
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Junior Charles Kropiewnicki was an all-Friends League honorable mention selection last year and leads the returners for Moorestown Friends. Seniors Colin Kirby and Edward Gelernt are other returning contributors.
OUTLOOK: The Foxes will look to keep making progress as a program this spring after posting a 3-10 record in 2015.
PAUL VI EAGLES
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Paul VI graduated its No. 1 player in Nick DeMarco but does have several promising returners. Juniors Joe Polidoro and Mike Everett and senior Tommy Sheilds are experienced upperclassmen, and sophomore Rich Venuto had a solid season as a freshman. Junior Bobby Fitzgerald is another returner who could slip into the top four and juniors Pat Bakey and Teddy Jablonski will also look to contribute.
OUTLOOK: After finishing 6-9 last year, the Eagles hope to contend for a winning record despite the loss of DeMarco.
SENECA GOLDEN EAGES
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Most of last year’s varsity lineup graduated, including No. 1 golfer Sam Dion. Seniors Charlie McKnight and Garrett Merski and sophomore Michael Maus are the top returners. Seneca will also lean on a host of varsity newcomers, including promising senior Mike Bresan.
OUTLOOK: With almost an entirely new varsity team, the Golden Eagles hope to show improvement as the season progresses.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior Kevin Haines will be the leader for Shawnee after placing in the top 20 at last year’s Carl Arena Tournament with an 80 at Blue Heron Pines. Haines also carded an 81 at the Olympic Conference Tournament to tie for seventh and an 86 at the Burlington County Open to tie for 21st. Junior Chris Warner is another important veteran who came on strong as a sophomore. He tied for second at the conference tourney with a 79 and shot an 85 at the county tournament to tie for 16th. Senior Dillon Davis and junior Evan McNally were consistently strong during matches, and other returners looking to contribute are senior Zach Michel and sophomore Kyle Quagliero.
OUTLOOK: The Renegades graduated three key golfers from last year’s squad, which went 15-3 and took third at both Carl Arena and the county open. But they have the returning talent to once again contend in the Olympic Conference American Division.
WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP MINUTEMEN
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Washington Township is led by an impressive trio of veterans who should make noise at all of the major tournaments. At the top of the list is junior Jake Hanzel, who posted top-five finishes at the Gloucester County Open and the Carl Arena Tournament and will be one of South Jersey’s best golfers this spring. Senior Steve McEntee made tremendous strides as a junior, as he won the county tournament with an impressive 71 at par-70 Pitman Golf Course. McEntee also took 10th in the Olympic Conference with an 82 and carded an 83 at Carl Arena. Senior Sean Hughes rounds out the group, as he tied for second in the conference and tied for 10th in the county. Junior Lucas Kunkel is another returner who has the potential to crack the top four.
OUTLOOK: The Minutemen went 14-7 and claimed their sixth straight county championship last spring. Expect more of the same in 2016.
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 1 (January, 2016).
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