By Jimmy Allinder
The improvement was only a few strokes, but T.J. Terpanick believes he is a better golfer than when he was a freshman.
The sophomore and No. 1 player for Saint Joseph High School of Metuchen carded a 76 to finish second in the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) Boys’ Golf Tournament compared to a 79 on the same Forsgate Country Club course in Monroe Township that hosted the event in 2016.
Terpanick hopes two more years of high school eligibility and additional experience on the ultra-competitive New Jersey Professional Golf Association (NJPGA) junior circuit will enable him to continue his development.
“I’m hitting for more distance this year,” said Terpanick, who is still growing (he weighs 140 pounds) but already possesses excellent technique. “I’m also putting better and going after more birdie [attempts], but what’s really key moving ahead will be minimizing strokes on those longer holes.”
Terpanick, teammates Mike Rocco and Justin Manuel, who carded 87 to finish 13th and 14th, respectively (tie broken by match of scoring cards), and Matt Devokis and Owen Donnelly helped St. Joe’s finished fourth in the team standings. The team title was won by Old Bridge High School.
Blue Division champion Metuchen High School placed eighth in the team standings, led by Jack Bradley’s 93, which was good to finish 21st. By winning the Group I sectional tournament, the Bulldogs were the only area team to qualify for the state team tournament May 21 at Hopewell Valley Country Club.
Terpanick said in addition to playing junior events, he will hit the gym more.
“Weights are out,” said Terpanick, who owns a 4.2 grade-point average. “They tighten me up and I need to be flexible, so I stay away from lifting.”
In the girls’ tournament May 16 at Concordia Golf Club in Monroe, John P. Stevens High School parlayed Grace Wu and Vritti Vazarani’s first- and second-place finishes — as well as Roshni Shenoy’s 10th-place showing — to capture the team championship.
The Hawks totaled 177 strokes to best South Brunswick High School by three, while Metuchen placed fourth and Edison High School was ninth.
Wu and Vazarani were two of three golfers who carded 42, with first place determined by a match of scoring cards. Using that formula, it was determined Wu had a lower score on the course’s most difficult hole(s) and was awarded the individual title.
The remaining Hawks who contributed to the title were Vicki Tan (49), Karishma Shenoy (49) and Vidisha Jha (48).
The team title is another highlight this season for J.P. Stevens, which is coached by Patty Savulich. The Hawks finished 11-3 overall and won the Red Division with an undefeated record (9-0).
Lauren Cassella, who plays for the Edison girls’ lacrosse team, scored her 200th career goal during a 17-12 victory over South Plainfield High School May 18.
The senior notched six goals in the game and now has 202 for her career and 77 this spring. The Eagles (5-10) closed out the season when it faced Old Bridge High School May 20.
The fifth-seeded J.P. Stevens softball team was eliminated by South Plainfield, 2-1, in the GMC Tournament semifinals May 21.
The Hawks (16-5) are still alive in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association North Jersey, Section II, Group IV tournament, where they are also seeded fifth, and faced fourth-seed Westfield High School May 22. If victorious, the Hawks meet the winner of top-seeded North Hunterdon High School and ninth-seeded Ridge High School May 25. The finals are May 30 at the site of the highest remaining seed.
In Central Jersey, Group I, fifth-seeded Metuchen faced 13th-seeded South Hunterdon Regional High School May 22, with the winner moving on to play the survivor of top-seeded Henry Hudson Regional High School and eight-seeded Riverside High School May 25.
In Non-Public, A South, sixth-seeded Bishop George Ahr High School met 11th-seededThe Pingry School May 22, with the winner facing third-seeded Notre Dame High School May 25.
In the GMC boys’ baseball tournament, top-seeded St. Joe’s edged 12th-seeded Old Bridge, 3-2, May 20 to earn a berth in the championship game May 27 against sixth-seeded Monroe Township High School at East Brunswick Vocational Technical High School.
The fifth-seeded Falcons were not in action again until May 30, when they met fourth-seeded Christian Brothers Academy in a Non-Public, B South contest.
Eighth-seeded Bishop Ahr faced ninth-seeded Paul VI High School in the same bracket May 25, with the winner playing top-seed Bishop Eustace Preparatory School May 30.
In Central Jersey, Group I, second-seeded Metuchen faced 15th-seeded LEAP Academy University Charter School May 22. The winner faces the survivor of seventh-seeded Perth Amboy Vocational Technical High School and 10th-seed Shore Regional High School May 25.
Nick Tonzola, coach of the Bishop Ahr wrestling team, announced a fundraiser for the Anthony Raspa Memorial Scholarship Fund hosted by the Aubrey Foundation.
A dinner will be held at the Brown Stone in Metuchen June 25, with proceeds going to a scholarship named in memory of the Trojans wrestler who captained the 2008 team, went on to the University of Delaware, became a New Jersey state trooper and died on duty when his patrol car struck a deer two years ago.
More information can be obtained by emailing TheAubreyFoundation@gmail.com or visiting www.TheAubreyFoundation.org.