“Historic” is an oft-used word when it comes to Scarsdale High School golf. To describe what the girls and boys teams have achieved this spring, we’re going to need another word, so let’s go with “unprecedented.”
And the numbers don’t lie:
· The girls were 15-0 in the regular season, the boys 19-0. Not one team came close to beating either of the league champions.
· The girls had a season low score of 197 (twice), the boys 183.
· The girls set a new record with eight Section 1 qualifiers, the boys 10.
· Six girls and six boys both advanced to the Section 1 finals. Both records.
· Three girls and four boys qualified for states. More records. (Each state team takes nine players.)
· The girls had their second Section 1 individual champion in Kaitlin Lee, who defended her title from last spring.
· The girls won the Section 1 team title for the first time in three tries and will compete as a team at states, also for the first time.
· The boys don’t send teams to states for golf, but the boys will compete in the conference finals next week and if they win they will go for their fifth Section 1 team win in the last seven years.
“It just goes to show you how strong our programs are in Scarsdale to have two teams field so many great kids in a state tournament,” girls coach Barney Foltman said.
Lee shot an even 144 over two days at Centennial and Whippoorwill, winning the title by six strokes.
“Going back to back was really special,” Lee said. “The competition is getting really tough. I played with an eighth-grader who gave me a run for my money. It felt really nice to get the win.”
Freshman Jacqueline Lu and junior Rebecca Maude also qualified for states. Maude tied for ninth with senior teammate Mandira Shashank and Lourdes’ Cameron James. The three played a playoff whole, which Maude won to secure her spot.
The last two years the girls lost narrowly to Carmel for the Section 1 team title when it was a nine-hole event. This year the Raiders blew away the competition, topping the runner-up by over 50 strokes over 18 holes.
“I expected that,” junior state qualifier Maude said. “I looked at the placements of our girls we sent there and I think I knew it was going to end up that way. I’m so proud to be part of this amazing team. I hope we can keep it up in the future.”
Freshman Skye Braun and Shashank will join their other three teammates at states for the team event.
“Certainly I think Kaitlyn has the potential to bring home an individual title, which is a very difficult thing to do,” Foltman said. “The team title, I don’t know what the rest of the state has. I think we have some of the best golf in the state right down here in Section 1 and I certainly think our girls have proven they are going to be very strong contenders for the title.”
While Kaitlyn Lee was qualifying for sates for the fourth time, her brother, sophomore Steven Lee, was over at Fenway qualifying for his second state championship.
“I’m so excited for him,” Kaitlyn said. “My dad is going crazy.”
Steven Lee will travel to states with fellow sophomore Charlie Berridge, junior Jay Allen and senior Andy Fan. Allen is a two-time All-State golfer and Fan made states as a sophomore, but just missed earning All-State. Last spring he was unable to qualify for states, making a great comeback this year.
Berridge, who had not made states before, tied for second at sectionals.
“The course played really difficult,” boys coach Andy Verboys said. “The greens were really fast. The wind was blowing. And he was shooting darts and he was putting well.”
Ben Schwartz, who qualified for states last year, is the boys alternate, winning a playoff hole for 10th place.
“It was close there where we thought we were going with 5 out of the 9,” Verboys said. “No other school in my 19 years has brought more than three and I’ve had three up there before. Four is setting the bar pretty high. You look at the state guys for us and only one is a senior. Everybody wants to know when Scarsdale is going to take a step back.”
Clearly not any time soon… boys or girls.