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Sep 16, 2019 10:31 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

League VIII Boys Golf Will Continue To Be Competitive As It Has Ever Been

Mackenzie Kim FILE PHOTO
Sep 20, 2019 9:25 AM

There is a deep and thriving rivalry in League VIII boys golf, with four teams—Pierson, Westhampton Beach, Southampton, and East Hampton—battling for supremacy on some of the nicest golf clubs in the area every fall. That four-way rivalry will continue this year, as all four teams return the bulk of their players from last year and should give each other a tough battle every week.

Westhampton Beach is the early favorite. The Hurricanes lost only one senior — number five player Richard Tiska — to graduation, from a team that went 9-1 and tied with Southampton for the League VIII title before winning the conference tournament. The top three for the Hurricanes are seniors Cole Federico, Mackenzie Kim and Cody Sumwalt, and head coach Fred Musumeci has deep confidence in that trio in particular.

“I would put my top three golfers up against any top three in the county,” he said. “We still have to figure out the back end and see how strong we are there, but my top three are fantastic.”

Kim and Federico, whose scoring averages last season were within two-tenths of each other, both finished one stroke shy of qualifying for states last year, and will have that as a goal for this season. As for the entire team, Musumeci did not mince words when talking about his expectations.

“When this group first came up, our number one goal was to win counties,” he said. “Plain and simple. And this is the year we think we have a chance to do it.”

Musimeci added that his team will be challenged in League VIII on a regular basis, saying he thinks that the top four in the league are among the best in the county.

To help the Hurricanes emerge as the cream of that crop, solidifying the other three starting spots will be key. Musumeci expects senior Matthew Meyer and junior Justin Shu, both starters last year, to be strong again, and said that junior Tyler Puch and eighth-grader Bennett Parli will also be in the mix for a starting spot.

Westhampton Beach is scheduled to start the season at home at Westhamtpon Country Club on Thursday, September 5, at 4 p.m. against Pierson before visiting William Floyd on September 10 at 4 p.m.

Southampton

The Mariners will be the primary challenger to Westhampton Beach this season, coming off last year where they tied with the Hurricanes with an identical 9-1 record. Southampton lost only one starter from last year, number 3/4 golfer Jack Brown, who transferred to St. Anthony’s. Sophomore Jack Blackmore, who made the county tournament last year, returns, as well as number two, senior Daniel Silverberg, and number three, junior Jack McDonnell. Junior Steve Kraszewski should slide into the number four spot, while senior Chris Kreymborg should be at the number five spot, while the rest of the roster has yet to be determined.

Head coach Tim Schreck has high hopes for his team this year as well.

“I think there’s no reason we can’t be as good as we were last year, if not better,” he said. “I’d like for them to compete for the league championship again, and I want to see more of my individual players make it to the county tournament. The goal is for every single one of these guys to improve from last year, even if it’s just by a stroke. If that happens, we will be tough to beat.”

Southampton will open the season at home against Pierson on September 10 at 4 p.m. at Southampton Golf Club.

Pierson

The Whalers will be feisty again this year, after losing just one starter, number 2/3 Cooper Schiavoni, to graduation. Senior Henry Brooks is back, after qualifying for states last year. He was the first Pierson golfer to ever achieve that feat. Junior Tucker Schiavoni, and sophomores Reed Kelsey and Brendan Burke are strong returning players, while newcomers Harry Ambrose and Nathan Dee, both eighth-graders, sophomore Vincent Cavaniola, and freshman Gavin Gilbride will all try to work their way into the regular starting lineup.

Pierson went 5-5 last year in League VIII, and head coach Clint Schulman hopes his team can make a bigger leap this season.

“We’re young, but I think we’ll be really competitive,” he said. “We have to really win our home matches against those three top teams to have a good chance to challenge for the league title, which we didn’t do last year.”

East Hampton

The Bonackers lost one of the best golfers in program history to graduation in Turner Foster, who is now playing at Loyola College. Foster was a three-time qualifier for the state tournament and perennially strong player. East Hampton also lost another starter in Nate Wright, who is now playing at Randolph-Macon College.

Head coach Rich King is hoping that freshmen J.P. Amaden and Trevor Stachecki will lead what is a very young team this year. A trio of freshmen and an eighth-grader will be in the mix in the starting lineup, and there is only one senior on the team in Austin Brown. King said he also expects junior Aiden Cooper and eighth-grader James Bradley to fill in the other spots on the roster.

East Hampton will start the season at home at South Fork Country Club on September 10 at 4 p.m. against Center Moriches.

Hampton Bays

The Baymen will be young this year, and will have some work to do to be competitive in League VII after losing their top three golfers — Sean Noonan, Gavin Grismer and Joe Sapio — to graduation. Hampton Bays was 6-4 in League VII last year.

The Baymen will be led by junior David Catena and sophomores Aiden Kamp and Evan Kuffner, who will hope to offset the losses of the three graduates. Newcomers Kevin Sheridan, a senior, and eighth-grader Eric Sandstrom should make their way into the starting lineup as well, while the rest of the roster has yet to be set.

Hampton Bays was set to host Mattituck to start the season on Thursday, September 5, at The Woods at Cherry Creek in Riverhead at 4 p.m. and will visit Riverhead on September 10 for a 4 p.m. match.

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