Vikings golf team all fogged up

May 10, 2013

With one more victory, the Cape Henlopen High School golf team could assure themselves of a winning season.

After the recent run of unsuccessful matches, however, the Vikings have given themselves a real challenge.

Going into the May 1 contest against Caesar Rodney at Rehoboth Beach Country Club, Cape’s home course, the Vikings were 6-2 for the year.

The highly ranked Riders soundly thrashed Cape’s squad, 160-201. Last year’s state champion, Joe Visalli, double-bogeyed his last hole, but still finished in the medalist spot with a 38. Mason Jones played the best for Cape, but that was for a 44, six strokes back of Visalli.

Things did not improve for the next three Vikings.

Mike DeStasio struggled to a 49 for the day, followed by Tyler Reed’s 53. Luke Branner and Michael Johnson tied for fourth best for Cape with a pair of 55s. In contrast, the fourth scorer for Caesar Rodney posted a 42, two strokes ahead of Jones.

Cape then traveled May 3 to Green Hill Yacht and Country Club near Salisbury, Md., for an away match against Delmar. The Vikings lost again, 173-209.

Jones and DeStasio tied for best score for the Vikings with a pair of 48s. Once again, however, all four Delmar golfers posted rounds that were better than Cape’s best.

Reed finished in third for Cape with his 55, while Rachel Hagan finished the Vikings' scoring with her 58.

Jones said Green Hill’s greens were far slower than what Cape was used to at Rehoboth. Even so, those total scores are not likely the sole result of dodgy putting.

The Vikings were hoping for a better outcome when they hosted the Dover High Senators May 6, but the heavy fog and occasional drizzle did not help either team play their best. Cape lost for a third straight time, this time by a single stroke, 206-207.

I watched several of those Cape strokes add up on a single hole. DeStasio’s bunker shot on the ninth hole flew the green, bounced on the paved cart path beyond, and came to rest out of bounds on RBCC’s practice putting green. Those extra strokes brought his score up to 49.

Johnson had a single putt to make on the ninth hole for a 46. Unfortunately, his attempt rolled too far past the hole, and he took two more strokes to complete his 48, which was still the best the Vikings could do that day. Jones struggled for his 53, and Luke Branner finished with a 57 that clearly disappointed him.

Cape has two remaining matches for the season, so there’s still hope for a winning season.

Head coach Claudio Smarrelli thinks this year’s continuing cold and wet spring may be taking its toll on his young squad. He mentioned once again that he and several other Henlopen Conference golf coaches would prefer to have the teams compete in the fall.

Kevin Charles, the executive director of the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association, agrees with Smarrelli. “We have nine spring sports, and only five sports in the fall. I would love to switch golf to the fall. However, the golf courses and golf pros, especially upstate, have always said they would only host high school golf in the spring,” he said.

Apparently the upstate courses have more outings in the fall, which are critical to their financial success. With so many high school teams in northern Delaware, scheduling all those matches in addition to the more lucrative tournaments is just a bit too much to ask.

Local club competition results

The Kings Creek Country Club Ladies’ 9-Hole group competed May 6.

Susan Spence won the round, followed by Evelyn Vanderloo in second and Kathy Nave in third. Mary Beth Merolla won the closest to the pin contest.

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