By Jimmy Allinder
The results of three decades of Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) boys team golf tournaments have proven just how good East Brunswick High School has been.
The 10 titles captured by the Bears represent the most of any conference team, and East Brunswick aims to make a serious run at winning an 11th crown this spring.
Competition, as it always does, will come from Saint Joseph High School of Metuchen, which won the title a year ago and is always the Bears’ chief rival in the GMC Red Division. But don’t count out teams like Sayreville War Memorial High School and Old Bridge High School that have not been among the contenders in recent years.
The reason, as it always is, that East Brunswick could win the tournament May 19 at Forsgate Country Club is consistency throughout the lineup. Sophomore Brandon Wei owns the best stroke average (5.1 over par for nine holes), but a number of his teammates are not far behind.
Senior Andrew Hoeni maintains a 5.3-over-par average, while his brother, Alec Hoeni, averages 6.1 strokes over par. Junior Jeremy Steenvordan averages 7.3 strokes over par, and sophomore Ryan Gordan, who has only played in two matches, is 7.5 strokes over par. Freshman Eegan McDermott has averaged 8.4 strokes over par, followed by junior Chris Ng (8.8 over par) and senior Zane DiPierno (9 over par).
East Brunswick owns a 9-0 record in dual matches and is ahead of St. Joe’s and Old Bridge by two matches in the GMC Red Division race.
“The biggest improvement has come from Jeremy, Zane and Ryan,” head coach Bo Henning said. “Each has shown a love for the game by the way they have committed to playing every opportunity they can.”
A possible snapshot of what might occur at the GMCs was the order of finish at the Bomber Classic in April in which all the contending conference teams were entered. Although the Bears finished second to West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North, they were the top GMC team in the standings.
The Bears have already qualified for the Central and South, Group IV sectional at Linwood Country Club May 16. If it finishes in either first or second place, East Brunswick moves on to the state championships May 23 at Hopewell Valley Golf Club.
The girls team, coached by Mark Motusesky, seeks its fourth consecutive GMC title and is led by senior Sayaka Carpenter, one of the top golfers in the state.
Carpenter won the conference tournament title as a freshman and sophomore but was edged out by a stroke of capturing a third crown last year. Carpenter hopes to reclaim the championship when the tournament is held at Concordia Golf Club in Monroe Township May 19.
In addition, she is a serious challenger to compete for an individual state title when the championships are held May 26 at Forsgate.
As a team, the Bears have already qualified for the Section II championships May 17 at Bea Ley Golf Course in Toms River. If they finish either first or second, the Bears move on to the state championships, which will be held in conjunction with the individual championships.
The Bears are 11-3 and are on a six-match winning streak. Carpenter is joined in the lineup by senior Jessica Song, juniors Sophia Hu and Carmen Phu and sophomores Alexandra Caro and Amanda Phu.