AACC golfers could fare well once they get on course

April 04, 1993|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Staff Writer

Is this any way to begin a golf season?

Anne Arundel Community College coach Cal Peterson doesn't think so, but he has no choice.

The Pioneers' season-opening match, scheduled for Thursday, was postponed when Villa Julie didn't have enough personnel.

And because of the inclement weather, they played only four days last month at Eisenhower Golf Course in Crownsville, and have been reduced to taking their swings at a heated driving range in Severna Park that is partially covered.

Tee-time won't come soon enough for Peterson and his five-man team.

"It's just been too wet and soggy and cold," said Peterson, who is entering his 23rd season. "That's the way it is with golf in the north. You're at the mercy of the weather. [Golf] can be very tentative."

And very fickle. Last year, the Pioneers had Scott Boyd, the No. 1 player in Region XX. This spring, with Boyd's departure -- most likely for UMBC -- and the loss of Jason Doyle to the University of Maryland, Peterson isn't sure who will emerge as his top golfer, let alone someone who could challenge for the regional championship.

The lone sophomore, team captain Chris Haag, is in the Pioneers' No. 1 slot, for now. "He's a very mature individual and a consistent golfer; someone who shoots in the low 80s," Peterson said.

The freshman class includes three county golfers: North County High graduate John Lowden, South River's Kevin Richardson and Northeast's Gene Pleyo, a standout on the Pioneers' basketball team.

Another first-year competitor is Bob Starke, who went to school in Pennsylvania.

"I don't suspect we'll come into our own until three or four weeks,"Peterson said. "I don't know what's going to happen now. It's hard to tell until I see them out there.

"The weather's not cooperating, but that holds true of everybody in the conference. I have a suspicion that Frederick and one of the other teams took their players down south during the [spring] break, but we don't have the luxury of doing that."

For now, Peterson can only speculate that Lowden and Starke are the early favorites to move up to No. 1. But he adds, "You could very well see any one of the freshman take the No. 1 spot."

Lowden, 19, gladly would accept that role, if he ever gets a chance to play.

"It's been terrible," he said. "March usually gets a lot warmer. I try not to play in the cold because it affects my swing; I have to cut down on my swing."

A former soccer player at North County, Lowden looks forward to contending for the No. 1 spot, though he isn't setting himself up for a disappointment.

"All I'm here for is to help the team," he said. "If I get to be No. 1, I won't think of myself as a higher player. I'm just glad to be on the team. I'm here to have fun, as well as win. If I don't get to be No. 1, I won't sulk. I'll just try harder."

Lowden thinks the Pioneers should fare well this spring.

"From the players I've talked to, I think we have a good chance [at a winning season]," he said. "I know Kevin is a really good player. And Mr. Peterson has been great."

Peterson said, "If everyone plays consistent golf, we should do well. We should have a winning season, and we should be respectable in the region and the state. You never know."

He'll know more after the Pioneers' home opener at 1 p.m. Thursday -- weather permitting -- against Charles, Frederick and Howard.

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