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Sports Archives The Altamont Enterprise, November 13, 2008
Area golf teams drive the fairway with ease
By Jordan J. Michael
Western Albany County is a hotbed for varsity golf teams this season. Guilderland, Berne-Knox-Westerlo, and Voorheesville teams all had excellent showings in league and sectional play.
The BKW Bulldogs won the Western Athletic Conference title for the second year in a row with a 16-1 record. The team’s only loss was to Mayfield. BKW took first place over Galway by one stroke at Pioneer Hills in Galway.
“We went into the WAC tournament wanting to avenge our loss to Mayfield,” said the 23-year coach, Don Dennis. “We took care of Mayfield and all the teams were crowded around the scoreboard at the end. It was a nice celebration when we won. I actually got water dumped on my head, which is unusual in golf. It was planned from the beginning.”
The Bulldogs switched to a new home turf for 2008 at Sycamore Golf Course in Ravena. The team’s home field used to be in Cobleskill. “My golfers felt more at home, even though it took some time to get used to the quick greens and layout,” Dennis said. “I think the new course improved our game.”
BKW set a school record for lowest score against Sharon Springs. The four players combined for 153 points. Dennis said that it was a “wonderful” year to be a golf coach.
The Bulldogs finished fourth at the Class C-D sectionals. Senior David Sikule, WAC’s Most Valuable Player for the second straight year, had a score of 78 to advance to the state qualifiers. “He’s an all-star player and a six-year starter for us,” said Dennis. “He missed the next round of states, but he completed his goal.”
Senior Charlie Turner, junior Paolo Audino, junior Josh Rebeor, junior Sean Flanagan, and sophomore Ethan Sharp all had a part in the championship season. Rebeor was the team Most Valuable Player and posted a 15-1 individual record. Dennis said he is “clutch.”
Audino shot an 83 at sectionals; Flanagan shot a 37 against Duanesburg; and Sharp posted an 84 at the WAC tournament to go with a 14-1 season. “I have a good group of dedicated golfers who know how to play the game,” Dennis said.
Jeff Teats runs a “minor league” team for future talent. The group plays at Iron Works Golf Course, which won a Board of Education Recognition Award for “generous” support of BKW golf.
“Turner and Sikule will leave big shoes to fill,” Dennis said. “However, I’m confident for next season. These guys are pumped for a third straight title.”
Despite losing seven of its top eight scorers from last year, the Dutchmen golf team finished second in the Suburban Council with a 10-6 record.
The team plays at Western Turnpike Golf Course and placed seventh in the Class A sectionals. “We played excellent golf, given the circumstances,” said Coach Andy Ryan. “We hoped to do better in sectionals after a second-place finish in the league, but life goes on.”
C.J. Lozano, Jeremy Tobin, and Chris Levy had a three-way tie for low score average on the season. Levy and Vince Ragone had low scores of 37 to lead the team. Levy made it to the state qualifiers at Orchard Creek Golf Club.
The team won sectionals under Ryan in 2003 and everything has looked up since. “I’m really happy with the improvements this year with the kids that filled spots,” Ryan said. “We’re very competitive and take pride in playing an honest game.”
Tobin, Tyler Warchol, Ryan Sickler, Brad Chilion, Colin Clarke, and Robbie King will be golfing next season. Levy, Lozano, Ragone, and Alex Boccio will bid farewell.
“You have to look at your losses and gains. Do they even out?” asked Ryan. “I have hungry players and they all golf their own ball.”
The Blackbirds had only one senior golfer and a handful of young players in the tough Colonial Council. It found a way to come in second place.
“You have to keep in mind the age and continued relative inexperience of this team,” said Coach Tom Glad. “I’m impressed with the level of skill that I saw.”
The 12-4 team calls Albany Country Club its home and added a second-place Class C-D sectional finish to its résumé at the end of the year. Senior John Malfetano, R.J. Cave, Mike Young, Kyle Russell, and Matt Parrottino had the sectional duty.
Malfetano and Parrottino moved on to state qualifiers at Orchard Creek. “It’s such a competitive atmosphere,” Glad said. “Malfetano was caught in a playoff to move on but came up short. He may have been disappointed, but he’s got a bright future.”
David Malfetano, Grace Viamandanis, Young, and Parrottino are all eighth-graders with many years left. “Everyone gets better year after year,” said Glad. “It’s scary to think about them as seniors. Grace is a girl playing on guys’ tees.”
Will Smith, Marty Hesselbacher, and Mickey McDonald round out the team. Cave and John Malfetano both had season scoring averages under 42.
“Golf can be really hard on high school kids,” adds Glad. “They start school and we’re already deep into the season. You leave right after school for matches and get back late. But their academics don’t suffer.”
Voorheesville went from 9-8 in 2006, to 10-6 in 2007, to 12-4 in 2008. The wins keep increasing. The team works hard over the summer to stay competitive and fresh.
“The future looks extremely bright. My best players will be juniors and freshman,” Glad said. “My golfers get older, more mature, and stronger. You don’t know how things will change but I’m optimistic none the less.”