Arundel, Severna Park favored Golf preview

September 19, 1993|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,Contributing Writer

Let the post-Gary Carpenter era begin.

Carpenter, who led Arundel's golf team to back-to-back state titles the past two seasons, has gone on to longer and tighter fairways at East Carolina University. But his departure has not prompted Wildcats coach Carol Nutt to push the panic button just yet.

"Gary will be missed but we have to stay focused and try not to put any added pressure on ourselves," said Nutt, The Baltimore Sun's Anne Arundel County 1992 Golf Coach of the Year. "When you've won the state championship the last two years, it's hard to start thinking that far ahead. You can't get hung up in expectations and play good golf.

"I think we're pretty relaxed and I think my guys will be able to handle anything that comes our way."

The Wildcats have shown some signs of mortality, having split two early A Division matches with upstart Severna Park, but the Wildcats are still the team to beat.

Arundel is led by junior Paul Wills, who took fifth at the states last year with tours of 76 and 80 on the University of Maryland golf course.

Two other Wildcats who are back from last year's state tournament champion team are junior Scott Carpenter (Gary's brother) and sophomore Eric Furtado. Senior Fred Ryder is a four-year veteran who should contribute along with juniors Dan Ruzzo, David Townsend and Marc Tallent.

Severna Park coach Dick Barto likes his team's chances at the county and district tournaments but is unsure how his team will fare at College Park on Oct. 21-22.

"I think we have a legitimate shot at doing well at all levels," said Barto, whose team finished seventh in the states last season. "This is a sport where you don't know what will happen until the day it happens. I'm looking to see us and Arundel finish 1-2 in the county and districts, but I don't know about states."

Senior Dave Orso, who upset Carpenter in the district tournament last year before bowing to him at county championships, will try to stop Arundel's streak of county titles at two when the teams meet Oct. 19 at Eisenhower Golf Course. Assisting the Falcons are senior Fred Pisarski and juniors Dave McClure, Pete Buck and Ryan Thompson.

With the county boasting two state-tournament contenders, where does that leave Annapolis' much-improved squad?

"We're sort of stuck in the middle here," said Panthers coach Joe Martin, who saw his team finish third in the county last season. "It's hard for us to beat Arundel and Severna Park, but we're ahead of Old Mill and Broadneck."

The Panthers return two seniors who finished in the top 15 in the county last season in Andy Redman and Chris Harris. For the Panthers to enjoy any real success in the A Division they must get consistent performances from senior Adam Carstens and junior Brian Jan.

Rounding out the squad are sophomores Chris Barrett, Hunter Hammond, Pete Salvia, Nate Rodenbarger and Ian Massenburg.

Broadneck coach Jim Morris is calling the 1993 season a "building year" with the Bruins boasting only two seniors.

Junior John Peck is the Bruins' top golfer, but freshman Brian Lawton is coming on strong.

"Brian is only a freshman and he's already very consistent," said Morris. "He'll only get better and better."

As coach of Old Mill's golf team, Bruce Lawton will get a chance to see his son, Brian, participate against his Patriots in the A division.

If the Patriots don't place any higher than eighth, as they did in the county tournament last season, Lawton's team could find itself in the B Division next season.

The Patriots' most promising golfer is Wendy Spry, who transferred to the Millersville school from Germany. Spry is shooting in the low 40s for nine holes and should help Old Mill stay competitive.

Joining her in the "fore"-front are first-year senior Bob Jones and returning sophomores Bryce Nalepa and Jaclyn Surles. Battling for the Patriots' final two spots are juniors Nick Basta, Mike Scanlon and John Catley and sophomore Chris Riggin.

"This is the first time in a while that I've had six kids who can consistently shoot in the 40s and that's a plus that we haven't had the past few years," said Lawton. "We should be fairly competitive."

Chesapeake coach John Irvine is proud of the 276-82-6 career record he has accumulated over the past 18 seasons, but what brings him the most joy is the fact that six of his former players have gone on to make a living in the golf industry, including three club professionals, two golf course superintendents and one golf equipment salesman.

"We look for an enjoyable year," said Irvine, whose team finished second in the B Division last season behind North County. "As long as the kids enjoy themselves it's a successful year."

Occupying the No. 1 spot for the Cougars this season is senior Ben Hardesty. Senior Liz Keenen also returns for her fourth year after winning the girls district title last season. Seniors Chris Beard and Chris Fala and juniors Travis Gottlich and Jay Kimmel round out the team.

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