For Delone Catholic High's second-year golf head coach, Mike Berry, the defining point of the season came after the Squires shot a season-low 411 at South Hills Golf Club to win their fourth YAIAA Division III tournament of the year.
"The guys knew all season long that they were good enough to win, but after South Hills, we were all down at the putting green talking, and I think they realized for the first time just how good they could be," Berry said. "Just the feel of the team was different."
From that point, the Squires cruised to capture the division title by 12 points over York Catholic. Their success did not stop there, as they also qualified for the District 3 Class AA Team Tournamentm in which they finished third.
Any coach would agree that coaching is a lot easier when you have a team full of good kids. Couple that with the talent of those good kids and there is the chance to have a special season.
That is exactly what Berry had this season.
"Coaching is fun," he said. "I had a good group of kids. I can't ask for anything more than that."
In addition to their success as a team, the Squires also sent two golfers to the District 3 Class AA Individual Championship.
The Delone roster was filled with youth, as the Squires entered the season with only one senior and five juniors.
"I knew we'd be strong," Berry said. "All these guys had played varsity matches. They have played since they were freshmen and they play a lot in the offseason."
After being named the head coach two weeks prior to the start of the 2011 season, Berry took full advantage of his first full offseason with his team in 2012. They spent much of it at the Ted Sheftic Learning Center in New Oxford, where they are able to work on their game year-round.
"This year was the first time we have done that," Berry said. "The guys were able to work on their game. They were able to work on their chipping and putting indoors. They also have monitors that show the distance that your shots go, and they have a driving range that goes up to 200 yards."
Berry attributes much of the success of the 2012 season to the fact they had a full offseason to work together on their game.
Delone's lone senior, Casey Bird, was the team's lowest scorer and their leader. He helped make Berry's job easier.
"As a team, they always strived for better," Berry said. "If we shot a 430, then next week they wanted a 427. They were never complacent.
"From the beginning of the season, these guys wanted to bring home a division title and then a district title," Berry said. "We fell short of the district title, but five of those guys will be back again to try next year."
The experience the Squires received this season will help a lot next season in accomplishing the district title goal. Berry stated the team expressed nervousness during this year's district team championships.
"Their goal next year is to have everyone make it individually to districts," Berry said. "They can, too, because they are all good enough, and I know they will put in the hard work that it takes to get there."
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