Arundel's Nutt, Carpenter prove a formidable team 1992 ALL-ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY GOLF TEAM

November 17, 1992|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,Contributing Writer

Carol Nutt didn't want to put any added pressure on her defending state, district and region champion golf team at Arundel High. Anyone who has ever three-putted knows the sport provides enough stress on its own.

Nevertheless, Nutt couldn't help but challenge her team into setting the lofty goal of winning a state championship.

"One thing I've never done as a coach is set too high expectations for a team," said Nutt, The Baltimore Sun's Anne Arundel County golf Coach of the Year. "I told the kids at the beginning of the season that I thought we had to set a goal to defend our state championship. First there was silence, followed by nodding agreement.

"It was a difficult situation for a group of seniors to make, but everyone took it one day at a time and we did what we set out to do."

In winning a second consecutive state team championship, Arundel completed a two-year sweep of all competitors. The Wildcats went unbeaten in matches again this fall and won the county, district and state titles each season.

"There was considerably more pressure this year," said Nutt, who also coaches the Arundel gymnastics team. "Last year, I thought we could win the states halfway through the season. This year, they were expected to win and all the pressure fell on them. All pressure is, is a fear of failure. Last year, we couldn't fail, this year we could."

Alleviating much of that pressure was Gary Carpenter, this year's selection as Golfer of the Year. After being edged by Severna Park's David Orso by one stroke for low-medalist honors at the district tournament, Carpenter responded by winning his third straight county crown and his first individual title at the 22nd annual state golf championships at University of Maryland Golf Course.

The 6-foot-2, 185-pound senior put together rounds of 72-69--141 to tie the tournament record set last year by Colyn Keller of Walkersville.

"I never verbalized it and he never did either, but I think it was mutually understood that Gary wanted to win," said Nutt. "Gary has two personalities: the real sweet guy around school, but you get him on the golf course and he goes for it. To accomplish what he has, you have to be aggressive and you can't be intimidated."

Carpenter, 17, didn't flinch at the tournament as he opened up a five-shot lead after the first round. His aggressiveness came out in full force in the closing round as he shot a 3-under-par 69 to ice it.

"It's nice going into the final round with a five-stroke cushion," said Carpenter, who is considering attending Ohio University, Murray State, Charleston (South Carolina) or East Carolina University. "After that, I was just trying to stay around even-par. I knew if I could stay around par, no one could catch me.

"Winning the states was in my plans all along. I had set a goal to win all three [county, district and state] and when the one failed, it just gave me more incentive."

When Carpenter had his off-days -- there weren't many -- sophomore Paul Wills, senior Kris Niemi and junior Fred Ryder picked up the slack. Wills, Arundel's No. 2 player, was expected to be there for the Wildcats, but Niemi and Ryder were pleasant surprises for Nutt.

"The problem I had this year was I knew who my No. 1 and No. 2 players were, but didn't have a No. 3 or 4," said Nutt. "I was ## hoping that someone would emerge, and as it turned out, Kris and Fred came through.

"I told them not to try and get a good score, but to try not to make a bad score, which they were prone to do. I told them they just needed to shoot in the mid-80s and that took some of the pressure off."

Coaching a team as talented as Arundel didn't make Nutt's job any easier. She saw her role change from that of a teacher, to that of a team psychologist.

"I just tried to keep their heads together," she said. "I had to do some coaching, but instead of fixing really big things, I was fixing small things."

At times, she was more like a team mother.

"This year cost me a fortune in food," said Nutt, who treated her squad to breakfast at Bob's Big Boy before each round of the state tournament. "I never saw so much food go down in my life. Luckily, it was all-you-can-eat."

All-Anne Arundel County golf team

Player of the Year -- Gary Carpenter, Arundel

Coach of the Year -- Carol Nutt, Arundel

Name.. .. .. .. ..School.. .. .. .. ..Class.. .. ..Score

Gary Carpenter.. .Arundel.. .. .. .. ..Sr... .. .. ...75

Kris Niemi.. .. ..Arundel.. .. .. .. ..Sr... .. .. .. 81

James Bae.. .. ..Broadneck.. .. .. .. .Sr... .. .. .. 81

Paul Wills.. .. ..Arundel.. .. .. .. ..So... .. .. .. 82

Dave Orso.. .. Severna Park.. .. .. ...Jr... .. .. .. 82

Scott Carpenter...Arundel.. .. .. .. ..So... .. .. .. 83

Ted Orr.. .. ....Broadneck.. .. .. .. .Sr... .. .. .. 85

Pete Buck.. .. Severna Park.. .. .. .. So... .. .. .. 85

Dave McClure.. Severna Park.. .. .. ...So... .. .. .. 85

Todd Morgan.. .Severna Park.. .. .. ...Sr... .. .. ...86

Andy Redman.. ..Annapolis.. .. .. .. ..Jr... .. .. ...87

Mike Santacroce. Broadneck.. .. .. .. .Sr... .. .. .. 87

Matt Berzinski..Chesapeake.. .. .. .. .Sr... .. .. .. 87

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