Arundel a good shot to repeat

September 20, 1994|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,Contributing Writer

With three of its four golfers back from last year's team that won the county and district tournaments, Arundel's golf team has to be considered the team to beat in Anne Arundel County.

Just don't try selling that to Wildcats coach Carol Nutt, because she's not buying it.

"We have to be aware of Severna Park because they have two really good players," said Nutt, referring to the Falcons' Ryan Thompson and Andy Alcorn. "We have to respect our opponents. Golf is a strange game and anything can happen."

Mostly everything that has happened to the Wildcats over the past three years has brought a smile to Nutt's face. Last season, Arundel defended its county and district titles before settling for third behind Class 3A-4A champion Quince Orchard and runner-up Sherwood.

"We didn't want to win that trite three-peat," said Nutt, tongue firmly planted in cheek. "We were saving it for three out of four."

Making that hope a good possibility for the Wildcats is the return of senior Paul Wills. Wills, who was named Male Golfer of the Year last season after capturing medalist honors at the Anne Arundel County and District IV tournaments, is poised to improve on his second-place finish at the states.

A 1-handicap out of Glen Dale Country Club in Prince George's County, Wills has been fighting a flu in recent weeks and his 35 for nine holes last week is some indication that his health is improving.

Filling the Nos. 2 and 3 positions for the Wildcats are junior Eric Furtado and senior Scott Carpenter, both of whom represented Arundel at states last season.

Said Nutt: "Last year's team, even though we didn't win the states, shot well enough to have won seven of the last eight years so we're still in pretty good shape."

Sophomore Brian Wade and freshman Josh Upton are fighting for the Nos. 4 and 5 spots for Arundel. Dan Rizzo, Randy Clark, Matt Bradley Jr. and Alycia Paxton battle for the sixth and final position.

Severna Park coach Dick Barto has reason to believe his team can compete with the Wildcats. The Falcons already have defeated them in an A Division match and Barto sees plenty of room for improvement.

"I think we're stronger this year and Arundel is not as strong as they've been the last few years so it could go either way," said Barto, whose team has adopted Walden Golf Club in Crofton as its home course. "We've been gnawing at their heels the last couple of years and we just haven't had enough."

In addition to Thompson and Alcorn, the Falcons boast a number of talented golfers, including seniors Pete Buck and Mike Jerla, junior Adam Kensky, sophomore Jim Travers and freshman Adam Huany.

Old Mill returns eight players, including No. 1 sophomore Brad Burns, but the Patriots are lacking the tournament experience to get past their rivals to the south.

"Arundel and Severna Park have a lot of kids who play tournament golf throughout the summer and I see us nipping at their heals all the way through," said Old Mill coach Bruce Lawton. "Severna Park and Arundel kind of battle each other in the A Conference and don't worry about anyone else but hopefully we can throw a little monkey wrench in there."

Senior Jon Catley and junior Bryce Nalepa are interchangeable at the Nos. 2 and 3 spots for the Patriots, and promising freshman Garret Ohm, juniors Chris Riggin and Jacklyn Surles round out Lawton's top six golfers.

Annapolis coach Joe Martin saw his team finish third in the county tournament last year, behind Arundel and Severna Park, and he's hoping his team can repeat that when the teams gather Oct. 17 at Eisenhower Golf Course in Crownsville.

"Once I get the guys together and playing their game we should be all right," said Martin, whose team finished 10-10 last season.

The Panthers' No. 1 spot is occupied by senior Pablo Ortiz, an American Field Services student from Argentina. Senior Brian Jan is challenging Ortiz for the top spot and junior Brian Esco, a transfer from South Carolina is playing No. 3. Rounding out Annapolis' squad are senior Nate Rodenbarger, freshman Jud Carstens and sophomore Abby Pfeiffer.

Broadneck, a team that dominated the A Division before Arundel's emergence in 1990, has dropped to the B Division and will compete against Chesapeake, Glen Burnie, Meade, Southern and South River.

Yes, Southern.

After failing to field a team for more than two decades, the Bulldogs are back on the links and are being coached by John Aylor. It leaves Northeast as the only county public school without a golf team.

With the Bruins in the B Division this fall, Aylor will have his work cut out for him.

Broadneck returns a "handful" of players, including seniors John Peck and Natalie Green and sophomores Brian Lawton and Pat Ware.

"I think we'll do well in the B Division but we're looking forward to the counties and regions so we can see how we match up with A Division teams," said Bruins coach Jim Morris.

Chesapeake coach John Irvine believes South River is the favorite in the B Division and sees his Cougars battling Broadneck for second place.

"South River and Southern are coming on very strongly, and with all the new golf courses down in the southern part of the county, they should be," said Irvine, who is in his 19th season. "Hopefully, once we get the new public course on Fort Smallwood Road [in Pasadena], we'll improve too."

Senior Travis Gottlich leads the Cougars, followed by seniors Jay Kimmel and James Tomazewski and promising freshman Ryan Howard.

Graduation took a major divot out Glen Burnie's lineup. With Shane Brooks and Andy Easton gone, Gophers coach John Himmelheber will rely on an experienced group led by Greg Cohen and Bill Smithers.

"It's going to be a rebuilding process," said Himmelheber, who will coach junior Sarah Buquid, the first female golfer at Glen Burnie. "We have players who have no idea what they are doing, but I encourage them to keep at it because this is a lifetime sport."

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.