By Warren Rappleyea
Old Bridge High School’s boys golf team is off to a 9-1 start this spring and has already qualified for the NJSIAA Central-South Jersey, Group IV tournament.
The Knights are coming off a 180-195 win April 25 over J.P. Stevens High School at the Metuchen Country Club with co-captain Eric Pizzulli leading the way with a +3 round. The victory was the fourth in a row for Old Bridge after a 163-162 tiebreaker loss to South Plainfield High School April 15.
Pizzulli, who will play for College of the Desert in Palm Desert, California, next year, has been the Knights’ top golfer throughout the campaign. A long hitter with a nice touch on the green, Pizzulli is averaging +2 on the season and has qualified for the individual portion of the state tournament. His best round was a 34-stroke performance in the loss to South Plainfield, and he took second place in the Sayreville Tee-Off Classic earlier in the season.
“Without question, Eric’s been our leader,” Old Bridge coach Nick Renzi said. “He’s also been great working with our younger players. [He] spends a lot of time with them and he’s helped them out a lot.”
Co-captain Zach Huber, another four-year player, is having a solid spring as well. Huber is also a long hitter with a good short game. He also has the ability to scramble well to recover after poor shots. Thus far, Huber is averaging +5 and has a round of 37 to his credit in a victory over Bishop George Ahr High School.
Steady Anthony Cristi rounds out the Knights’ contingent of seniors. A second-year player, consistency is his forte. Cristi turned in a 43-stroke round in his team’s loss to South Plainfield High School. His average is +7.
Another key to Old Bridge’s success has been the play of sophomore Roshan Seth, who worked hard during the offseason to upgrade his game. Strong with the driver, Seth averages +10 with a round of 42 in a win over South Brunswick High School.
Renzi rotates his other four players throughout the lineup. Junior Jack Morris, who also plays ice hockey, sophomore Peter Mattson and freshmen Luke Anthony and Aidan O’Donnell have all contributed to Old Bridge’s success.
“We’re fortunate to have such a strong group of players, and I’ve been able to rotate them through the lineup,” Renzi said. “It’s going to be tough to pick just five of them to play in the state sectional, but they have all played well.”
The Knights were set to take to the links at Tamarack Gold Course April 26 to meet Middlesex High School, the team that knocked Old Bridge out of the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) Tournament last spring. Renzi’s team was scheduled to play East Brunswick High School April 27 and will host Piscataway Township High School April 28.
“Right now, we’re looking to be a little more consistent overall — that’s always a goal — so we keep rolling,” Renzi said. “It’s great that we’ve already qualified for the state tournament, but we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves now. We still need to focus on one match at a time.”