By ALEX SPONSELLER The high school golf season teed off earlier this week, with Toll Gate, Pilgrim and Classical taking on one another at Valley Country Club. The Titans went 2-0 in the match with a score of 204, while Pilgrim went 1-1 with a score of
By ALEX SPONSELLER The high school golf season teed off earlier this week, with Toll Gate, Pilgrim and Classical taking on one another at Valley Country Club.
The Titans went 2-0 in the match with a score of 204, while Pilgrim went 1-1 with a score of 223. Classical finished at 247 and went 0-2.
Toll Gate coach Bill Russo was excited for his team to go 2-0 in its opener, especially considering it was its first competition since the spring of 2019.
“It was a good start considering how things have gone this year, we weren’t really sure how they would go. The kids on the roster right now, I didn’t coach a single one of them two years ago with last season being wiped out. We had a lot of (upperclassmen) the last season. So we’re happy to be able to fill out a full roster,” said Russo.
Leading the way for the Titans was sophomore Ryan Dacey, who will slot in as Toll Gate’s top player this spring. Dacey has played golf for multiple years and also competed in this week’s Challenge Cup where he shot an 84. He shot a match-high 40 on Monday afternoon.
“Our No. 1 is going to be sophomore Ryan Dacey, he’s a good player with a lot of experience. He shot a 40 and we’re expecting him to be right around that moving forward. I’ve been surprised because we have a lot of kids that have not played golf, but they’re athletes that have transitioned well and are doing OK with it,” said Russo, who is also confident in his young players that are being asked to fill big shoes this season. “Alex Wildgoose is our No. 2, Brody Marinelli will be our 3, both are underclassmen so we are really in the middle of a full reboot.”
Considering the youth and inexperience of the group, Russo and company are sticking to the basics and building from the ground up. That does not mean that they do not have postseason aspirations, though.
“We’re just taking it day by day, practicing four days a week and trying to get better each day. It’s those building blocks. You’re not going to make someone’s golf swing in a couple weeks so our development is about working with what they have and providing some pointers to help improve their game in a short time,” Russo said. “If we make it to the playoff stage - which I think is a real possibility with the group - that will be fantastic, especially for a group of freshmen and sophomores.”