Despite losing out on last spring, the Edgemont boys golf team returns a core lineup of veterans, but through four matches it’s sophomore Ben Tran who has shot the team’s lowest round.
On Tuesday, April 27, Tran shot a 40 in the team’s first win in four matches as the Panthers topped Westlake 238-254. He had shot 47s in each of the three previous matches, leading the team each time.
“The easiest and most obvious improvement in one player is Ben Tran,” coach George DiChiara said. “Yesterday he shot a 40, which is our low round of the year to date, and he has put a lot of time and effort into improving overall.”
The Panthers had shot 265, 259 and 250 in the first three matches, so the overall trend is going in the right direction as seniors Ryan Stuzin, Matt Sadowski, Peyton Levine and Ben Thaler are looking to pick up their game, as is veteran junior Dylan Fang.
“We should be able to score better than we have,” DiChiara said. “Our scores are very high this year. After talking to the seniors they are questioning why they are so high because they were shooting lower when they were younger. They’re working hard to improve.”
The good news is none of the matches have been league matches and while DiChiara expects Bronxville to be tough to beat, he’s hoping to compete with Rye Neck and Blind Brook.
“What I’ve always communicated to them, and this is generally the way the match scores fall, is you need to be in the 220 range to be able to put yourself in a position to win or compete against most schools,” DiChiara said. “Some shoot 200 or below, which is very difficult without five scores that are 40 or below, but they’re going in the right direction.”
Edgemont has some freshmen and seventh graders who will build for the future, in addition to others who are expected to try out again in the future.
“It’s great to see not only is there interest, but there are up-and-coming players that will not only sustain the program, but also work towards some of the goals we’ve been missing out on like winning the league and getting kids to sectionals,” DiChiara said.
The Scarsdale boys have had only one match and was using it as an extended tryout to start figuring who will fill out the lineup behind returning 2019 state qualifier seniors Charlie Berridge and Steven Lee and returning sectional qualifier senior Charlie Schulhof.
“I played New Rochelle and had a threesome go out behind them for one last spot on the team,” coach Andy Verboys said. “I’m carrying 13 and I can only bring six kids to a match at a time. We had a bunch of newbies do pretty well yesterday, so it worked out.”
Even without Berridge and Lee the Raiders dominated with a 207, left by Schulhof, who already broke 40 with a 38. Three players — freshmen Justin Liu and Sajiv Mehta and junior Ryan Gerson — shot 42s, while senior Leo Rosenstadt was one stroke back at 43. Sophomore Matthew Steuerman shot a 47.
“It seems like a long time ago that I did this, so it was nice just to see the kids out there playing and competing,” Verboys said. “I had two freshmen that stepped up and played well, both shooting 42 in their first varsity match as ninth graders. I didn’t even play our top two and we shot a 207. Early in the year we’re playing New Rochelle so I wanted to see how the younger guys handle the pressure of matches and I’ll do the same thing Wednesday when we see them. None of my state guys will play.”
Spots in the lineup are wide open as the Raiders, the three-time defending Section 1 champs, look to see how they stack up this year after losing the two seniors who didn’t get to play last spring, Jason Sarachek and Jay Allen, who would have been going both for a fourth straight team title and a fourth straight All-State honor.
“Mamaroneck is 6-0 already,” Verboys said. “They’re in the 204-210 range. We play them on Monday at Bonnie Briar and then again May 12. With only four returners I need to find my best six right away.”