By Warren Rappleyea
With a growing reputation, Sayreville War Memorial High School’s boys’ golf team will look to put a fourth straight winning season into the books this spring.
A year ago, the Bombers entered the season with high expectations and went on to post a 17-1 record, including a perfect 14-0 mark in divisional matches to win the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) White Division championship.
Several key members of that squad have graduated, but coach Tom McCloskey believes this season’s edition will do well. After going 6-6 in 2013, the Blue and Gray was 9-6 in 2015 and 14-4 the following year, before winning the White Division last season.
“We have six sophomores, so this is one of our younger teams,” the Sayreville coach said. “Still, we have a lot of talent, and this group wants to continue our winning tradition. They’re excited and, most important, they’re pushing themselves hard.”
McCloskey said his team did well in its two scrimmages: against Middletown High School South at Beacon Hill Country Club in Atlantic Highlands and against Edison High School at the Meadows at Middlesex in Plainsboro, with his team recording scores of 185 and 182 strokes, respectively.
The coach will look to co-captains R.J. Feola and Zach Corby to provide leadership. Feola’s poise enables him to overcome poor shots and manage the course. He keeps the ball in play and is usually in position to par. Corby, in just his second varsity campaign, is much improved and the younger players look up to him, McCloskey said.
Long-hitting John Perini, who averaged 9-over par last season, is the Bombers’ top player. Perini put in many hours in the offseason and plays a strong all-around game.
Joe Phillips, who shot a 41 in the scrimmage at Middletown South, leads the sophomore contingent. He’s very strong around the greens, and he’s also matured a bit physically and is going longer off the tee, McCloskey said.
Danny Yu is a fundamentally strong player who maintains a good tempo to go with an excellent short game. Nick Lugos, Tom Evans, Scott Mish and newcomer Jacob Rodrigues round out the sophomores.
McCloskey has a pair of former baseball players — seniors Andrew Kenny and lefty-swinging David Stolte — who have both shown potential as they work to adjust their swinging techniques to golf. Gabe Dosca and Faraz Kahn, two promising freshmen, also made the team.
The coach noted that the presence of junior manager Jayden Louis has been a boon to the team. Louis has been following the players and making video recordings during practice rounds. This has enabled McCloskey and assistants Pete McLarney, Joe Beselinoff and Chris Watson to review the videos with their players and make suggestions.
The Bombers were scheduled to open the season at Woodbridge High School April 4 and are slated to host North Brunswick Township High School April 6 at Tamarack Golf Course.