AMBLER — Noah Harrington has walked the golf greens around Montgomery and Bucks County many times, including one full season at the high school varsity level. The Wissahickon sophomore is set for a second go-around with the Trojans. He, however, will not be able to hide behind Jalen Griffin and two other graduated golfers.
The beautiful and well-kept courses around Ambler, including the Trojans home course, Meadowlands Country Club, have peeked interest in young athletes around the area. There were 23 kids at tryouts this season and it has kept the club competitive throughout recent seasons. The Trojans, who finished 13-1 last year, hope this fall brings more of the same success.
"We have great access,' second year coach and Meadowlands Director of Golf John Shapcott said. "My membership has truly stepped up. The kids can come out for practice or on their own.'
Harrington can only hope he learned enough from the departed Alex Kim, Dan Sunderland, and University of San Francisco product Jalen Griffin. The trio, specifically Griffin endured much success at the varsity level. Their leadership also led to the strong team scores.
"Having that one guy who could shoot par or better definitely helped,' Shapcott said. "Jalen was the type of talent that comes through once every ten years at the high school ranks. Luckily Noah got to play with him a lot. He keeps the ball in play and does not make too many big mistakes.'
Harrington does not feel like he has to fill Griffin's shoes, but state championship contender on the club or not, teams are coming for the Trojans. Upper Dublin brings back a trio (Michael Reed-Prince, Jack Melville, and Cole Swiger) of juniors chomping at the bit to capture sole ownership of the Suburban One American Conference championship. Last year the two teams split with identical 13-1 records, beating each other once.
"After Jalen and the other two seniors we had three freshmen playing in our top eight,' Shapcott said. "We expect big things from the three of them and senior captain Jake Labroli. We run pretty deep.'
In the Continental Conference Central Bucks West loses Tyler Sokolis to graduation and Hatboro-Horsham watched Tom Fisher take his last swings. That opens up the door for Pennridge senior Colton Pifer. The Bucks Michayla Simeon has her eyes on the girls' prize.
Methacton should compete for another PAC-10 title, but they did lose a few good golfers from last year's 11-0 season. Sophomore Kyle Vance and junior Matt Thompson will have to take on a bigger role if they want any team success. Team success, something every team wants in an individual sport.
"We have a bunch of great kids and I kind of let them do it,' Shapcott said. "If they need help I give them the help. Season goes so fast in high school. Our goal right now is to get our starting eight to qualify for leagues and get to districts.'
Coach: Jason Cottone (third season)
Key returnees: SENIORS — Conor Breslin, Rebecca Chiger; JUNIORS — Matt Shur, Andy Ring
Others to watch: SENIORS — Jed Barson, Jake May; JUNIOR — Dave McDermott
Season Outlook: The Ghosts are getting comfortable on the greens, but they know the National Conference is a challenge. They goal is to get at least six golfers into the SOL tournament.
Central Bucks West
Coach: Bob Schilling
Last year's record: 12-4 overall
Notable losses: Tyler Sokolis, Jeff Strasburg, Andrew Coleman, Julie Kim
Key returnees: SENIOR — Michayla Simeon; JUNIOR — Reid Moncada
Season outlook: While the Bucks lost several keys plays, several experience shooters remain and the group hopes to contend for a Continental Conference championship and see a few individuals succeed in the postseason tournaments.
Coach: Cory Longacre (first season)
Last year's record: 7-3 overall
Notable losses: Drew Hautzinger, Landon Leinbach, Connor Tipping
Key Returnees: SENIOR — Bob McFadden; JUNIOR — Olyvia Longacre
Others to watch: JUNIORS — Chandler Bergey, Logan Moyer
Season outlook: The Pioneers lose a trio of strong golfers, but there are some young players ready to contribute on the greens this season.
Coach: John Manser (fourth season)
Last year's record: 10-6 overall
Notable losses: Kevin Graham, Patrick Forrester, Jack O'Grady
Key returnees: SENIOR — Jimmy Mundy; SOPHOMORES — Jack McHugh, Luke Fisher
Others to watch: JUNIOR — Kieran Boyle; SOPHOMORE — Jacob Petrisko; FRESHMAN — Stephen DeFrancis
Season outlook: The Panthers lineup gets a shake up losing some leaders at the top, but they have enough experience back to be competitive in every match.
Gwynedd Mercy Academy
Coach: Amelia Rorer (seventh season)
Notable losses: Katie Dunphy
Key returnees: JUNIOR — Rebecca Reilly; SOPHOMORE — Ga Lim Kim
Season Outlook: The Monarchs lost five seniors, strong players in their own right, but leaders more than anything. It will be a rebuilding year, but coach Rorer hopes the young players can develop quickly during matches.
Coach: Mark Harman (eighth season)
Last year's record: 4-11 overall
Notable losses: Tom Fisher, Jake Cresta
Key returnees: SENIOR — Jimmy Gavaghan; JUNIOR — Jacob Molnar, Tommy Haas
Season outlook: The Hatters hope last year was the outlier and this group can rebound and improve their record from a season ago. The Continental Conference is challenging, but they believe the can be better than a four-win team.
Coach: Phil Dlugolecki (first season)
Notable losses: Chris Heuer, Craig Hill
Key returnees: JUNIOR — Nick Smalley
Season outlook: While many obtain invaluable experience last season depth is still an issue. The faces to round out the lineup are still in question and could fluctuate throughout the season. Coach Todd Huber is still in the mix, just as an assistant and the Crusaders just want to get better every day.
Coach: Martin Jackson (24 seasons)
Last year's record: 20-3 overall
Notable losses: Jack Gregor, Joe Rueter, Reid Worster
Key returnees: SENIORS: Frank Brigidi, Gary McCabe, Jack Quirk
Others to watch: SENIOR: Pat Corcoran; JUNIOR: Eric Carlidge, Hugh Farris, Phil Held
Season Outlook: While focus number one for the Explorers is winning a Philadelphia Catholic League title, the experienced group understands they need to take it one hole at a time.
Coach: David DiValentino (fifth season)
Last year's record: 3-12 overall
Notable losses: Mason Pippert, Caliegh Rich
Key returnees: SENIOR — Julia Genuardi
Others to watch: SENIOR — Andrew Schlegel; JUNIOR — Joey Shibata; SOPHOMORE — Andrew Lombardo
Season outlook: The Knights took their lumps last season and they hoping all of the hard work over the last year will pay off. They hope Julia Genuardi can capture success and advance further in the female postseason tournaments.
Coach: Kevin Flanagan (eighth season)
Last year's record: 11-0
Notable losses: Brandon Vance, Corey Betham, Mike Foley, Jeff Handwerk, Nick Frassenei
Key returnees: JUNIOR — Matt Thompson; SOPHOMORE — Kyle Vance
Others to watch: JUNIORS — Adam Duca, Zach Feaster
Season outlook: The Warriors watched a ton of seniors graduate, but they believe young players have a chance to emerge this season. And Kyle Vance is no longer in his older brother's shadow. This could be the sophomore's breakout season.
Coach: Tim Rimmer (sixth season)
Last year's record: 29-23 overall (8-6 in Continental Conference)
Notable losses: Shane McIntyre
Key returnees: SENIORS — Colton Phifer, Matt Swartz, Austin Roland, Drew Bachtle, Pat Stewart
Others to watch: JUNIORS — Andrew Simpson, DJ Holton, Jake Wiley
Season Outlook: The Rams have been playing all year long and together for three, some together for four years. The team has bond that promotes good competition. The Ram hope their dedication will give Pennridge its best season yet under coach Rimmer.
Coach: Jeff Kavanagh (first season)
Last year's record: 12-5 overall
Notable losses: Carter Field, Dave Pontari
Key returnees: SENIORS — Nick Pilhuj, Nick Minigone; JUNIORS — John Hansel, Jake Laudenbach
Others to watch: SOPHOMORE — Matt Aprile
Season outlook: The Colonials can post low scores, but they need to do so on a consistent basis in order to contend. The plans is to take it one match at a time and get better every time the tee off.
Coach: Fred Cicacci (25th season)
Last year's record: 15-3 overall
Notable losses: Clay Anders, Alejandro Velez, Jerry Meekins, Lenny Welch, Dan Heilemann, Connor Walsh
Key returnees: SENIORS — Adam Lowe, Josh Williams; JUNIORS — Quinn Guzman, Hirsh Sisodia; SOPHOMORE — Dawson Anders
Others to watch: SENIORS — Casey Wenger, Garrett Kensky; SOPHOMORES — Jack DeSpain, Nick Scott; FRESHMAN — Anthony Barr
Season outlook: The Indians have gained experience through tournament play and the improvement fo a few young players has the bottom of their lineup in flux. The Continent Conference is tough, but they hope they can repeat as league champs.
Coach: Tom Vizza (second season)
Last year's record: 3-10 overall
Key returnees: SENIORS — Chris Binet, Tommy Godin
Others to watch: SENIOR — Colin O'Hara
Season Outlook: As the Spartans look to improve their record from last year they will lean on a strong pair of returning seniors. Depth is questionable and will be the story of the season.
Coach: Dave Koch
Last year's record: 13-1
Notable losses: Josh Graff, Andrei Brabulescu
Key returnees: JUNIORS - Michael Reed Prince, Cole Swiger, Jack Melville
Others to watch: SENIOR - Matt Amey, Mark Lunney; JUNIOR - Debbie Park
Season outlook; Behind the talent trio of juniors the Flying Cardinals expect to be in the mix for league, district, and individual titles. Their experienced and deep and ready for a fun fall golf season.
Coach: Fred DiChiara (12 seasons)
Last year's record: 1-11 overall
Notable losses: Pete Corrigan
Key returnees: SENIOR — Luke McKeogh; JUNIOR — Will Towle
Others to watch: SOPHOMORE — Ryan Bormann
Season outlook: The Panthers plan on being more consistent this season. The young team from last season now has experience under their belt and familiarity
Coach: John Shapcott (second season)
Last year's record: 13-1 overall
Notable losses: Jalen Griffin, Alex Kim, Dan Sunderland
Key returnees: JUNIOR — Jake Labroli; SOPHOMORE - Noah Harrington
Others to watch: JUNIOR — Greg Welsh; SOPHOMORES — Mike Graeff, Phil James
Season Outlook: The Trojans are young this season, but they still are deep. Even with Jalen Griffin off playing for University of San Francisco, they are deep enough to compete for a conference crown.