Arundel High golfers expected to dominate greens

September 16, 1992|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,Staff Writer

Just mention the word golf to any of the county's nine varsity golf coaches and see if they can complete a thought without making reference to Arundel High School.

They can't. And they shouldn't.

The Wildcats are loaded, and with Gary Carpenter at the "fore"-front, Arundel is poised to successfully defend its state, regional and county titles.

"I would say we should be as strong, or stronger, than last year," said Carol Nutt, last year's Anne Arundel County Sun Golf Coach of the Year. "This is a brand-new position for Arundel High School. We've never been defending state champions, so I'm hoping we can handle the pressure. Right now, they don't seem to be putting any pressure on themselves and they're shooting good numbers."

Posting the most consistent numbers for Arundel at this point is Carpenter, who claimed low-medalist honors at both the Region V and county tournaments last season before settling for the fourth-place individual trophy at states.

"Gary looks pretty solid," said Nutt. "He had a real good summer and he's looking really consistent. I don't worry about his intensity or people's expectations of him. He'll be fine."

What may worry Nutt is the departure of Graham Neimi and Kurt Osborne. Both finished in the top five at the county tournament and had a major role in lifting the Wildcats to their first Maryland Public Secondary School Athletic Association state golf championship.

Still, Nutt doesn't fret.

"We can only be offensive in this game because in golf there is no defense," said Nutt, who returns seniors Chris Neimi, Andy Furtado and steady sophomore Paul Wills. "When you win a state championship, you have to set the same goals, because you can't really back track.

"I know in this county we look strong, but I don't really know who else is out there at this point."

There's plenty.

Severna Park first-year coach Dick Barto inherits two of the county's premier players in senior Todd Morgan and junior David Orso. If that duo can get some support at the No. 3 and 4 postions from senior Roy Dietrich and sophomore Ryan Thompson, respectively, Barto believes his team could threaten the Wildcats.

"Arundel is talented and very deep, but I don't think Arundel is out of our reach," said Barto, whose Falcons will compete with Arundel, Annapolis, Old Mill and Broadneck in the A Division.

"If we play well and catch them on a day when they're not playing well, I think we can beat them. Even if they are playing well, I still think we could beat them. I have a pretty good bunch of kids."

At Broadneck, Coach Jim Morris is trying to replace a major divot in his roster created with Jeff McKnight off to college and All-County performer Matt Tengwall at St. Mary's High.

Senior co-captains Mike Santacroce and James Bae will help fill some of the hole, but it is up to senior Geoff Bryce, junior Erik Williamsen and sophomore John Peck to keep the Bruins competitive. Sophomore Natalie Green is the lone female on the Bruins' squad and Morris is hoping to see her qualify for the states.

"Arundel is the defending state champs and I don't think we can touch them, but we'll be competitive with Annapolis, Severna Park and the other schools," said Morris. "We'll be competitive, but we won't win it this year."

Old Mill coach Bruce Lawton doesn't expect his team to win any titles yet, but he feels like a winner already having fielded a team.

"Our guys don't play a lot of golf outside of the season, so it's tough to compete with kids who have been playing all summer," said Lawton, who is hoping his team will not join Northeast, Southern and South River in the ranks of the schools with defunct golf teams. "They're just out to have some fun and we just want to keep fielding a team."

Senior Ryan Walsh, junior Josh Fretz, sophomore Paul Foster and freshmen Brian Bogle and Bryce Naleta will do their best to meet Lawton's goal of finishing "in the middle of the pack."

Glen Burnie and North County are expected to battle it out for B Division supremacy, but Chesapeake and Meade aren't throwing the towel just yet.

The Gophers should do well on the fairways and greens, but only if they can make the cut in the classroom will they get the opportunity. Seniors Shane Brooks and Dave DeShields currently are ineligible and won't return until the third match of the season.

"Once we have Shane and Dave back, we should be competitive," said Glen Burnie coach John Himmelheber. "Right now, we're really not. We only have one player who can break 100."

North County coach Nelson Martin claims his team finally is starting to reap the benefits of the Knight junior varsity golf program.

"Our jayvee program gives kids who wouldn't have a chance to play, a chance, and it has helped boost the morale of both of our golf teams," said Martin. "I'm very optimistic and I hope the kids keep motivated and striving to improve the team score."

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