Liberty adds golf program, takes on champion Owls first Lion's golfers to play 6 matches this season

September 13, 1992|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Staff Writer

It wasn't the mighty Westminster team that spoiled Liberty's first-ever golf match on Thursday, it was the weather that postponed things.

The two teams will try it again tomorrow afternoon at Wakefield Valley Golf Course -- home of the Westminster Owls.

While golf is old hat for the Owls, who finished 11-1 a year ago in winning the Central Maryland Conference title, the Lions are embarking on new grounds with the addition of the golf program.

L "It's going to be exciting." Liberty coach Cliff Trone said.

"We had 20 kids out for the team and kept 14. We have a lot of juniors and sophomores who are really working hard and improving."

The Lions have been practicing four times a week either at Liberty Golf Park or Glad Valley Golf Club in Frederick County since mid-August, and Trone believes his young squad is ready to compete.

"They're prepared. We've had some fathers out playing to get these kids some experience in tournament-like situations. Most have been playing golf for two or three years," Trone said.

Trone, a Sykesville resident and Baltimore native, was a golf pro at Downs Yacht and Country Club in Annapolis from 1971-78. He's now employed with Owens & Minor Corp. in Savage, Howard County.

Liberty athletic director Bob Henard has lined up six matches this season, including three with county foe Westminster.

Trone's top five golfers are underclassmen and the Lions only have one senior on the roster.

Junior Jason Burt is playing at No. 1 for the Lions, followed by sophomore Jeremy Allen and juniors Chris Peay, Andy Thompson and Brian Lingle.

The Owls return this season a little younger and less experienced after losing their top two golfers -- Dean Blankenship and Darren Marting -- to graduation last year.

"Our goal is to qualify for the states once again," Westminster coach Guy Stull said.

Last season, the Owls finished fourth in the District V golf tournament, which qualified them for the state tournament, in which they took tenth.

The Owls will rely on seniors Todd Dorsey and Todd Bollmer to step up in the top two spots to replace Blankenship and Marting. Dorsey was at No. 3 for the Owls last season, while Bollmer has improved his game significantly over the summer.

"He's been a pleasant surprise," Stull said of Bollmer.

"He's played every day over the summer and has knocked 10 strokes off his score from last year."

Currently rounding out the top five for the Owls are seniors

Justin Weller, currently at No. 3; followed by Todd Hoffman and Will Taylor. The team's solid depth could change the lineup from week-to-week.

"There's a lot of healthy competition for the fourth-through-sixth spots. There's been some very close scores, but I'd like to start the seniors," Stull said.

Among the others looking to contend for the final spots in the lineup are juniors Steve Hayes, Nick Horton and freshman Matt Laczkowdski.

This year's District V tournament will take place Oct. 5 at the Bear Creek Golf Club in Westminster.

Along with Westminster, the district consists of teams from Howard, Anne Arundel and Harford Counties.

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