More balance, but Broadneck has edge Interest, players increase for all county's teams

Golf preview

September 06, 1998|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The numbers are up, the scores are down, and parity is back in the Anne Arundel County public schools golf scene.

Two years ago, John Himmelheber had trouble finding six students with clubs and a golf bag to play on his Glen Burnie High School golf team. This season, he's carrying 23 players, including three that work at a nearby driving range.

"I don't want to cut anybody," he said.

Broadneck, the preseason favorite ahead of Arundel and Severna Park, had 32 golfers try out. Bruins coach Pete Regala Jr., who works at the Glen Burnie Golf Center, kept 12, including county runner-up Drew Linder.

"Nobody likes to make cuts, but I had a lot to choose from," said Regala. "This is the best group of kids I've ever had to work with. The Tiger Woods factor has the talent level rising."

Northeast, which hasn't fielded a team in nearly two decades, will compete in the B Division, which Himmelheber expects to be a "gimme" for his Gophers.

"They may want to put us in the A Division, because we're so good," he said. "This is the best team I've had in 12 years."

A closer look at the county's 12 teams:

A Division

Arundel: Veteran coach Carol Nutt says she doesn't have stars, but what she does have is more depth in her third through sixth spots than she can remember.

Senior Andrew Kostic leads the pack, followed by Jeff Deck and John Meyer, who has stepped his game up considerably. Rounding out Arundel's county and district champion squad are Jonny Metro and Calli Vance, who should vie for the girls county medalist honors.

"I think the talent is there. We just have to dig it out," said Nutt. "I like what I see."

Broadneck: In addition to Linder, who carries a 4 handicap, the Bruins will rely on smooth-swinging sophomores Kevin Peterson and Tom Haun, senior Mike Cusate and freshman Rusty Poisson.

"I'm thrilled about the team I have this year," said Regala. "We should be in good shape to contend for the county and district titles and, hopefully, fare well at states."

North County: The Knights may not win a team title, but senior captain Lori Koch has her eyes set on the individual awards for county, region and state.

"Lori has every ingredient to win the state championship," said coach Nelson Martin, who was there last October when Koch turned in a top-five performance at the University of Maryland. "She got a lot of tournament experience this summer, so she's used to the pressure now."

Old Mill: Some early-season eligibility problems have coach Bruce Lawton scrambling, but he's confident that golf scores will drop considerably once the team regains full strength.

"If we can get the kids back and playing the way they are capable of playing, we should have a good year," said Lawton. "I've got some kids capable of shooting in the upper 30s [for nine holes], but getting them to produce in matches is tough."

The Patriots are led by seniors Andrew Birgel, Justin Bereznak and David Brandon, juniors Chris D'Andrea and Chad Marquardt and sophomore Scott Luddy.

Severna Park: This team lacks a true No. 1 player, but Falcons coach Dick Barto hasn't given up.

"I have eight or nine guys all shooting around 40 to 42 [for nine]," said Barto. "Hopefully, someone will break through for us."

Junior Nick Pellicani is No. 1 for now, followed closely by juniors Chris Kirk and Nick Stump, sophomore Tom Dlockie, freshman Ben Pellicani (Nick's brother), and brothers Kevin and Greg Campbell.

South River: The Seahawks, paced by senior Jeff Rice, a returning All-County pick with a 5 handicap, will push the front-runners.

Complementing Rice and giving South River, which won the B Division last fall, a strong 1-2 punch is Bob Burton, a transfer from Cincinnati who shoots in the low 80s.

"Having Jeff [Rice] as a senior, it's nice seeing him the A Division," said coach Ron Price. "We don't have the overall talent to get over Arundel or Broadneck, but we could come in third or second."

B Division

Annapolis: With defending B Division champ South River in the A Division, the defending runner-up Panthers are looking to make their mark in 1998.

Annapolis, which finished with a 17-7-1 record a year ago, has a solid top four in Dave Wooster, Tim Barrett, Kemp Hammond and Phillip Leadroot, but needs a couple more players to emerge if it is to make a serious run at much-improved Glen Burnie.

Chesapeake: Right in the thick of things. That's where Chesapeake's 26-year coach John Irvine expects the Cougars to be in the B Division race.

The Cougars' lone senior is Carrie Schwarzman and their No. 1 player is Justin Perry. Completing Chesapeake's "very balanced" squad are Jonathan Lesniswski, Justin Cramer, Zach Seitz and Heath Cooper.

Glen Burnie: In addition to Wineke, who holds a single-digit handicap at Fort Meade Gof Club, the Gophers will rely on long-hitting sophomore Rashid Salem, Ben McFerron and Brooks Slater.

"The Anne Arundel Optimist youth program has really helped ours," said Himmelheber. "Finally, we got the numbers."

Meade: John O'Neill says his Mustangs are "bigger and better," and he expects his team to be much-improved over last year when it finished in the B Division basement.

Giving O'Neill optimism this season is the foursome of Connie Isler, Andy Dolan, Aaron Stafford and Eric Hyde.

Northeast: Brandt Schanberger isn't expecting miracles in the Eagles' first season back but said he already has been pleasantly surprised by the play of juniors Kenny Kannownik and Chris Moylan and freshman Jimmy Hughes.

"I was surprised how well some of kids, who have never really play on a real course under tournament conditions, were swinging the clubs," said Schanberger. "They looked pretty decent."

Southern-Harwood: Bulldogs coach John Aylor said he "guarantees improvement" this fall. He will rely on holdovers Matt Williams, Virgil Catterton and Aaron Johnson to lead an otherwise inexperienced group.

Pub Date: 9/06/98

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