Traditional MIAA powers are filled with questions MIAA GOLF PREVIEW

March 28, 1995|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,Contributing Writer

Trying to figure out who has the edge entering this Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association golf season is like trying to read a putt while still standing at the tee.

It's just too early to tell.

Calvert Hall has won the last three MIAA team championships, which should make it a favorite, but two of its top players, who were eligible to return, aren't back this season, forcing Cardinals coach Jules DeFries to shuffle a lineup lacking any proven scorers.

Loyola, winner of last year's team title at the MIAA Individual Championships, has a solid starting five in Dyer Bell, Craig Zabora, Brian Atkinson, Kevin Kollman and Duncan Bossle, but whether any of them can put up numbers similar to those produced by Joey Chuasiriporn and Tim Walko the past two seasons is questionable.

Chuasiriporn, who is now playing for Penn State, and Walko won individual championships the past two years and their departures have left Loyola coach Marty Stewart feeling somewhat vulnerable.

"We're going to be green and it's going to be tough," said Stewart, whose team went undefeated in dual matches last season before losing to Mount St. Joseph in the postseason team tournament. "People have been waiting to beat up on us for a long time, so I got a feeling they'll be coming after us. We'll hold our own. We're not as good as we were last year, but we'll be there."

For Calvert Hall to get there, the Cardinals are going to need consistent efforts from Allan Phillips, Eddie Mottern, David Livermore, Kevin Mitchell, Ben Tebbs and Chad Unitas, son of the Hall of Fame quarterback.

With four returning starters back from last year's team that lost to Calvert Hall in a shootout for the league championship, Mount St. Joseph coach Mike Dooley says he feels good about his team's chances in 1995.

The Gaels are led by No. 1 senior Andy Dhillon, a four-year starter and honor student who has been accepted into pre-med programs at Arizona and Dayton.

Junior Brian Patrick and sophomore Kevin Dooley are interchangeable at the No. 2 spot for Mount St. Joe. Kevin Cooke and David Inkman will occupy the Nos. 4 and 5 positions, respectively, and seniors Craig Lewis and Ryan Souder are battling for the sixth and final spot.

The return of No. 1 Chris Oh and No. 2 Spencer Finney gives Gilman reason to be optimistic, but Greyhounds coach Harvey Peterson insists the championship is "still up for grabs."

"There weren't any cakewalks last year and there won't be any this year either," said Peterson, one of many coaches who agrees with the MIAA's decision last season to break the teams into A and B conferences.

"Every match this season has a question mark as to the outcome and that's the way it should be."

Freshman P. J. Singh will take over the No. 3 spot for the Greyhounds and Jon Park, Greg Plitt, Jon Blob and Jake Rothwell will battle each week to see who fills the remaining three spots.

John Carroll coach Henry Mountain said he doesn't see any team running away with the title this season, but he wouldn't be too surprised if his No. 1 player -- senior Miguel Rivera -- ran away with individual honors.

Rivera, a scratch golfer out of Winters Run Golf Club, took fourth in last year's Individual Championships -- the highest finish among returning golfers -- and he showed improvement by winning the Bobby Bowers Memorial Junior Golf Tournament last July.

Sophomore Michael Peterson will play No. 2 for the Patriots, followed by Michael Penrose, Brett Wehberg, John Cohen and Jason Reynolds.

McDonogh returns four sophomore starters from last year's team that went 2-8 and Eagles coach Wright Abbot believes that year of experience will improve his team's chances of making the playoffs.

"Our top two players are very strong and capable of shooting in the 70s, but it all depends on how our Nos. 3 through 6 guys step up in match competition," said Abbot, who has Pete Mitchell in his top spot and Mike Soliman at No. 2.

"Historically, we finish in the middle, but our goal, as always, is to make the playoffs and I think that is a legitimate goal."

Archbishop Curley lost senior Dan Mielke, who helped lead the Friars to an undefeated season in the B Conference last year, but everyone else is back and anxious to get back at St. Paul's for defeating them on the final hole of last year's B Conference Tournament.

Senior Steve Ball, son of Friars coach Dave Ball, will fill one of Curley's top three spots as will teammates Jeremy Bohlen and Kevin Asher.

With no player putting up any great numbers, St. Paul's will have to rely on its depth to defend its B Conference title.

Leading the way in that endeavor for the Crusaders are seniors Tom McInnis and David Cameron, junior James Knott and freshman Brian Toth.

Wes Lovell of Boys' Latin, who finished fifth in MIAA Individual Championships last season while compiling an 11-2-1 dual-match record, is back and poised to assist the Lakers in improving on last year's 7-6-1 mark.

Lovell is joined by teammates Mike DiLonardo, Baron Scarlett and Todd Evans.

Severn, which opened the season last week by defeating St. fTC Paul's, has four quality players in Brendan Gilbreath, Dave Myers, John Hozik and Aran Primrose.

Cardinal Gibbons coach Drew Phillips, who takes over for George Blythe, will rely on senior Georgie Blythe, Colin Moorhous, John Hendry and Steve Jarbo while St. Mary's coach Bob Fretwell will count on Chris Quail, Kenny Barnard, Steve Picarde, Nick Rogers, Trevor Gill and J. W. Thomas.

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