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Golf

by Marc Narducci

Camden Catholic Fighting Irish

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior Mike Kettelberger had a 45 average. Also back this year are junior Pauline DiGianivittorio and sophomore Dane Stolinski.

BIGGEST COMPETITION: The Olympic National favorites are Bishop Eustace and Seneca.

OUTLOOK:There is the ability to improve on last season’s win total of three, but it may be too big a step to contend for the Irish. Kettelberger looks to be among the better golfers in the division.

Cherokee Chiefs

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior Brett Fernandes was the Chiefs’ No. 1 golfer last year. His average score in matches was 40.8, while junior Jevon Bell averaged 43.5. Three sophomore starters return: Liam Lafferty, Blaine Lafferty and David Quinn. Liam averaged 42.3 and Blaine averaged 42.6, while Quinn had a 44 average. Senior Carl Henning averaged a 45.

BIGGEST COMPETITION: Shawnee is the favorite in the Olympic Conference American Division.

OUTLOOK: The Chiefs were 7-9 and had no seniors last year so this is among the more experienced teams in the area. Cherokee also could be among the more improved teams. Whether they challenge for a division title or not, a winning record is a realistic starting goal.

Cherry Hill East Cougars

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Sophomore Eric Park averaged a 38 and was a first-team all-conference selection. He also took first place at the Camden County Tournament with a 71, first in the Olympic Conference championship (73) and first place at the sectional Group 4 championships (75). Senior Vince Kwon averaged a 38 and was a first-team all-conference selection. He is a fourth-year starter. Senior Ross Bryan (43 average) was another all-conference selection. Other returning veterans are seniors David Friedman and Harrison Kim.

BIGGEST COMPETITION: Nobody in the American Division can be considered out of it, including East. Washington Township, Cherokee, Lenape and Eastern are all expected to have competitive teams.

OUTLOOK: With a senior-heavy team, East should show improvement from a 6-12 season. The Cougars have also won two consecutive Camden County Tournament titles and will be likely to three-peat.

Cherry Hill West Lions

PLAYERS TO WATCH: The Lions return two starters, junior Lisa Denish and sophomore Kyra Denish. Returning letter winners include seniors Jason Schaetzle and Dominic Fillari.

BIGGEST COMPETITION: Bishop Eustace is among the teams to beat in the Olympic Conference.

OUTLOOK: The Lions won three times last season and the hope is to improve on that.

Eastern Vikings

PLAYERS TO WATCH: The Vikings return four starters. Senior Kyle Graham had a 42 average last season followed by senior Brian Pollack (43) and juniors Zach Wilson (44) and Chris Miller (47).

BIGGEST COMPETITION: Shawnee remains the most dangerous team in a highly competitive Olympic Conference American Division.

OUTLOOK: The Vikings will be competitive, especially with four starters returning. While not listed among the favorites, the team could prove to be an interesting dark horse.

Gloucester Catholic Rams (pictured)

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Junior Darren Raudenbush was a second-team all-conference selection. Other experienced players are seniors Daniel Spencer, Pierre Rai, Kyle Welsh, Evan Fish, Brandon Boyle, and juniors Megan Bonner, Brian Myers and Angelie Itaas.

BIGGEST COMPETITION: Pitman, Woodstown and Pennsville are among the Tri-County teams that will be formidable.

OUTLOOK: The Rams went 7-5 last season and, with an experienced group, they should contend for a division title. Many of the golfers also play ice hockey and the competitiveness from that sport should translate into the spring.

Haddonfield Bulldogs

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior Michael Lacatena was the Colonial Conference Tournament champion and a S.J. state tournament medalist with a 39 average. Sophomore Anthony VanDervort was the Colonial Conference Tournament runner-up who had a 40 average for the season. Junior Chris Biddle had a 44 average. Key letter winners include juniors George Pelose and Brian Collins, and senior Will Tomlinson.

BIGGEST COMPETITION: The Bulldogs were 16-0 last season and, even though they lost some key graduates, they are a prohibitive favorite. Everybody in the Colonial will be looking up at Haddonfield.

OUTLOOK: The Bulldogs clearly remain the team to beat. In addition, they won the state Group 1 title and will also make a strong run at defending that title.

Lenape Indians

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Sammie Faraghan is among the top female players in the state after placing sixth in the NJSIAA Girls’ Tournament of Champions. Her nine-hole average was 41. Senior Artemis Christou also averaged a 41. Other returning letter winners include junior Joe Daly (43 average), and seniors Fred McQuade (44) and Andrew Donnelly (45).

BIGGEST COMPETITION: Shawnee, Washington Township and Cherokee will be the Indians’ main competition.

OUTLOOK: The Indians have the potential to be among the Top 10 teams in South Jersey. Coach Chris Foley (97-30) should also reach the milestone 100th career victory for what is traditionally one of the area’s top programs.

Moorestown Quakers

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Moorestown has separate boys’ and girls’ teams, and both look to improve on last year’s record. Senior Sarah Jordan is the team captain and is joined by returning starters junior Angelique Sweeney and sophomore Allison Lin. Sophomore Justin Devany was a first-team All-Burlington County Liberty choice whose nine-hole average was 41. Junior Mike Dobbs was a second-team all-conference selection with a 42 average. Another starter back is senior Wes Kerr. Among the other expected contributors are junior Graham Slater and sophomores Liam Hughes and Connor Jones.

BIGGEST COMPETITION: Previously, Moorestown competed as an independent, but this season Moorestown has been accepted into a league with Mercer, Monmouth and Middlesex County schools. Notably, Moorestown and Cumberland are the only girls’ golf programs in South Jersey. For the boys, Burlington Township remains the favorite in the Burlington County Liberty Division.

OUTLOOK: The Quakers girls’ team went 7-4 last season and qualified for the state tournament, finishing fourth. After suffering some key losses to either graduation or transfer, matching last year’s record would be a good accomplishment. The boys’ team will challenge for a division and sectional title but won’t be favored for either. Qualifying for the state playoffs is a realistic goal. How some of the previously unproven players develop will be a key to the Quakers success.

Moorestown Friends Foxes

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Returning veterans include seniors Ryan Carty, Bryan Gfeller, Kate Siegeltuch and Kate Hallenborg, junior Vincent Salvano and sophomores Anthony Mahon, Adrian Ryczak and Kenan Sosa.

BIGGEST COMPETITION: Three-time defending Friends League champion, George School, remains the favorite.

OUTLOOK: The Foxes return an experienced team, and look for improvement, but it may be asking too much to contend for the title.

Paul VI Eagles

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Returning starters include seniors Mike Basileo, Nick Villari and Nick Labroli and junior Sean Sanchirico. Basileo will attend Neumann University for golf. Juniors Zak Smith, Peter DeStefano and Erin Johns and sophomore Matt Everett will look to crack the lineup. Look to freshmen Nick DeMarco and Julia Davis to fit into the mix too.

BIGGEST COMPETITION: Bishop Eustace and Seneca are the teams to beat in the Olympic Conference National Division.

OUTLOOK: The Eagles look to improve on an 11-8 record and possibly contend in the National Division after a third place finish last year. They won’t be the favorite, but led by a solid group of seniors, the Eagles are a team that can’t be discounted.

Seneca Golden Eagles

PLAYERS TO WATCH: There is plenty of experience returning from a 17-2 team that won the Olympic National. Returning seniors are Rob Singer, Bobby Santiago, Joey Hughes and Efthimios Mastrokyriakos. Experienced juniors include Colin Lubner and Tom Capraro, while classmate Tom DePalma adds depth after competing on the JV team last year.

BIGGEST?COMPETITION:? Bishop Eustace in the Olympic National and Moorestown, Ocean City, Shawnee and Burlington Township in S.J. Group 3.

OUTLOOK: The Golden Eagles should contend in the Olympic National and S.J. Group 3. The school has qualified for the sectionals all eight years that it has fielded a program and there is enough ability to keep that streak intact.

Shawnee Renegades

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior Zach Arsenault is among the top returning golfers in South Jersey. He was a first-team all-conference choice who placed fifth in the state Group 3 tournament. Classmate Shane Haggerty was a second-team all-conference selection. Two other returning starters are seniors Jack Gilligan and Ryan Sander. Others who could factor into the equation include seniors Tom Pignatello and Joe Tucci, and junior Macklin Kaiser.

BIGGEST COMPETITION: Among Olympic Conference teams, Lenape, Cherokee and Washington Township will be formidable opponents. OUTLOOK: The Renegades were 15-5 and division winners last year, and there is no reason to expect anything less this season. This is a senior-heavy team for coach Jeff Kates, one capable of vying for a sectional and state title.

Washington Township Minutemen

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Returning letter winners for the Minutemen are sophomore Joe Russo, juniors Justin Elwell and Frank Hughes and senior Nick Sparacio.

BIGGEST COMPETITION: In the entire Olympic Conference, Cherokee, Shawnee and Lenape are the main contenders.

OUTLOOK: First-year coach Shane Snyder has a solid nucleus from last year’s 13-4 team. The Minutemen won’t be favored in the Olympic or Group 4, but could surface as a potential outside contender.

Click here for the spring schedules.

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family’s High School Spring Sports Preview, January, 2012.
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