U.S. Kids Golf comes to Cape Region
Congratulations to the parents who stepped up to bring a new series of junior tournaments to the Cape Region for golf-mad kids, including their own.
Starting with an event at The Peninsula Golf & Country Club March 18, the U.S. Kids Golf Local Tour for Delaware includes six age-bracketed tournaments.
Rehoboth Beach Country Club hosted the second contest March 20 in sunny, but very windy, conditions. To add to the challenge, event organizers replaced the fifth hole with the bayside 19th, the scenic, but often brutally difficult, par 3.
Lucas Skonieczki of Rehoboth Beach began playing golf at age 5. Currently 9 years old, he is a veteran of the Eastern Shore Junior Golf Tour, which holds tournaments throughout the Delmarva Peninsula. His parents, Kimberly and Branden Skonieczki, began searching for more golf opportunities for Lucas and his sisters Grace and Rose.
In a recent interview, Kimberly said when they contacted U.S. Kids, the organization said they would come to the area if local volunteers staffed the tournaments. The Skonieczki family teamed up with Julie and Jordan Rollins of Milton, whose son Brody is also an active junior golfer. The families reached out to local clubs, and a six-tournament schedule soon developed.
The next tournament is set for Saturday, March 26, at Garrison’s Lake Golf Club, followed by events at Baywood Greens, Mulligan’s Pointe and a Tour Championship at Hooper’s Landing Golf Course in Seaford. Local tour participants can qualify for U.S. Kids multi-day tournaments that lead to a national championship.
The membership fee for participation in the series is $40. Tournament fees are set at $37 for the nine-hole categories and $47 for the older kids playing 18 holes.
The girls who won the RBCC event included Trisha Lobo of Collegeville, Pa. (8 & under); Joslen Bannon of Frederick, Md. (9-10); Elizabeth Yoon of Potomac, Md. (11-12); Kaitlynne Simmons of Townsend (13-14); and Reagan Garnsey of Camden-Wyoming (15-18). Local girls who competed included Grace and Rose Skonieczki of Rehoboth and Gabrielle Hamstead of Milton.
The boys’ winners included Julian Brandman of East Hampton, N.Y. (7); Brody Rollins (8) in a playoff; Grayson Cook of Chesterfield, N.J. (9); Nathan Lobo of Collegeville, Pa. (10); Logan Stoney of Hillsborough, N.J. (11); Quinten Joiner of Millington, Md. (12); Jake Hollerback of Millsboro (13-14); and Evan Gebhart of Magnolia. Other Cape Region boys who competed included Ben Adkins of Lewes, Peter Van Dalen of Rehoboth, Lucas Skonieczki of Rehoboth, Samuel Metz of Rehoboth, Rory Spindler of Selbyville, Luke Peyton of Frankford and Jacob Gabbard of Lewes.
For more information about the U.S. Kids events, contact its tournaments division at 770-441-3077 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cape golf team wins first match of 2022 season
Sometimes you just adapt.
When 15 members of the Cape Henlopen High School golf team came to practice at Rehoboth Beach Country Club March 21, the general assumption was that the next two days would be spent competing for the six playing and two alternate spots for the opening match against Smyrna March 23 at Garrison’s Lake.
Head coach Rob Harrod surprised the group by telling them that the threat of bad weather forced the match up 24 hours Tuesday. The Vikings would have a single practice to show their stuff in however many holes they could finish in the usual two-hour session.
After practice, the coaches gathered the scorecards and made their decision, which paid off nicely in a 187-215 victory over the Eagles March 22.
Smyrna’s Jake Mercer won medalist honors with his 44. This also counted as best in family for the day, beating his Vikings cousin Ethan by three strokes.
Senior Tommy Burn led the Cape contingent with his 45, followed by freshman Jacob Gabbard’s 46. Mercer’s 47 combined with senior Jeremy Trost’s 49 toward the team total. It was also the first varsity start for both Trost and Gabbard.
Seniors Dylan Steinwedel and Seth Reynolds did not score low enough to contribute. Playing as alternates, ninth-graders Will Ciabattoni and Dalen Daminger gained valuable experience.
Compared to Rehoboth Beach Country Club’s front nine, the Vikings’ home course, the tree-lined fairways at Garrison’s Lake presented a tight challenge for several Vikings. Head coach Harrod said, “They attacked the course and sometimes paid the price. Some of them had trouble playing less aggressively than they normally do. But they were scrappy, and I’m proud of them.”
He added, “The team score was also way better than last year’s opener.”
Harrod was right. Returning to golf after the canceled 2020 season, the 2021 team’s opening day score of 207 was frankly a bit startling. In contrast, this year’s 187 score was only three strokes higher than the Vikings’ 2019 opening match total. That team later finished in a tie for ninth in the state championship.
Assuming the weather holds, the Vikings next host the Lake Forest Spartans at RBCC Friday, March 25.