Cape golf team coming together for 2012 season

March 16, 2012

As the Cape Henlopen High School golf team continues its spring practice, the likely varsity players are beginning to make themselves known.

Nonetheless, there are some very good reasons this year for junior varsity players to stick it out and see what happens in the next few months.

Head coach Claudio Smarrelli wasn’t giddy about the team’s prospects, but he couldn’t hide his sunny optimism about the Vikings’ chances. Smarrelli also deeply values the Cape Region support that his golfers are enjoying.

“I really want to express my appreciation for the support of so many,” he said. “First, of course, is the help that Rehoboth Beach Country Club and Kings Creek Country Club are providing. This year we will have home matches at both places.”

Smarrelli continued, “My friend Frank [Scibilia] donated 12 dozen golf balls, and Kings Creek donated shoes. The Midway Par 3 people are making their course available during the week. At The Rookery, they are also letting the JV play there for a nominal fee.”

This year, the junior varsity should enjoy a rare opportunity for a competitive match. They are to have a scrimmage with a squad from Lake Forest High School, to be held at Shawnee Country Club in Milford.

Several seniors will lead the varsity players, including Shane Ghigliotty, James Fenstermaker and Chase Nelson. Fellow senior Matthew Dernoga may also join them.

Two juniors stand a very good chance of making the varsity squad - Esther Kung and Michael Johnson. Fellow junior Robert Prettyman also has an opportunity.

The most likely sophomore member of the varsity traveled the farthest to play for Cape. Elsa Toletti is a French exchange student from the Dijon region, who admits to playing to a nine handicap. French scholastic tradition does not include school-based sports program, so this kind of golf will be a very new experience for her.

Among the freshman golfers, Smarrelli suggested Michael DeStasio has a real shot at making the varsity lineup.

The other potential players for Cape’s golf team include junior Hunter Swider, as well as sophomores Nathan Griffin, Tyler Reed and Marshal Riggs. The freshman golfers include Luke Branner, Samuel Burton, Grant Czerwinski, John Duckworth, Charles Elgin, Mason Jones and Tanner Nickerson.

Smarrelli added two new as sistant golf coaches, one of whom is extremely familiar with the Cape golf tradition. Samantha Purple enjoyed several years of success on the Vikings squad during her time at Cape. The 2011 University of Delaware graduate began teaching language arts for the sixth grade at Beacon Middle School this fall and succumbed to Smarrelli’s sales pitch to come back to the team this spring. She is excited at the prospect.

Kings Creek teaching pro Chris Krueger is also assisting Smarrelli, and despite his years of experience this is his first exposure to coaching high school golf. Now in his fourth season at Kings Creek CC, Krueger hopes to blend his teaching schedule with helping the Vikings improve their games during the season.

The Vikings’ first match is Tuesday, March 27, when they will travel to Heritage Shores Golf Club to play Woodbridge.

New caddie program at Rehoboth Beach CC

Rehoboth Beach Country Club is reviving an old tradition this year, one that has been in short supply at Cape Region golf courses for quite some time. It is starting a new caddie program to provide part-time caddying opportunities at the club for the summer.

Previous golfing experience is required. As currently planned, caddies will be on call and notified at least two days prior to any day they are needed to work.

A training day is scheduled for 9 a.m., Saturday, March 17. Those interested may contact the club’s golf shop at 302-227-3616.

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