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All-County Golf 2010: Staley aces sophomore year

December 06, 2010|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com
  • North Hagerstown sophomore Aaron Staley is The Herald-Mail's Washington County golfer of the year for 2010.
Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Those who watched Aaron Staley come up through the Tri-State Junior Golf Association knew one day he would have some success in the high school ranks.
There have been dominant golfers in Washington County in the past — the Griers, the Lees, the Busheys — and Staley has a chance to put himself in the same category in the future.
The North Hagerstown sophomore is the Herald-Mail Washington County Player of the Year in golf.
“I like it. The award is pretty cool,” said Staley. “Working hard at it, it gives me a chance for a three-peat.”
Staley topped the MVAL Antietam Conference point-scoring system and finished the year with a 37.8 scoring average per nine holes.
Aside from individual matches, Staley was second in the Maryland Class 2A/1A district tournament after a 2-under-par 70 which qualified him for a second state tournament appearance. He won medalist honors at the Antietam Championship with a 77 in windy conditions, then helped the Hubs win the Washington County Public Schools championship.
He did not have a good state tournament appearance, but still sees the opportunities ahead of him.
“He’s become more dedicated,” said North coach Joel Rice. “He is beginning to mature. Coming off a bad day he’s not as frustrated and he’ll go work on things.”
Staley’s goals are to get where former Middletown star Alex Hoffman was — winning two Maryland individual state titles.
“My goal is to win like Alex did, shoot even par,” said Staley. “I saw what he did his sophomore and senior years and I looked up to him.”
Staley credits teaching professional Bill Hoffman for his emergence.
“I really couldn’t be where I am at without him,” said Staley. “I worked with him since I was 10 up to last year. He progressed me along with my swing because I was playing baseball. Those swings kind of mix so I had to learn the difference.”
Staley’s next two years won’t be easy, with plenty of competition coming from Smithsburg sophomore Kyle Huntzberry, an All-County honoree.
“It won’t be a slam dunk for him,” said Rice. “He will need to continue to be dedicated. And going to 3A next year will make it even more difficult.”
Staley recognizes the challenge.
“I have to get better, five strokes better,” said Staley, who obviously hopes to continue his playing days in college. “To get better, I’ve got to work harder.”
Joining Staley on the All-County team are:
Kyle Huntzberry, Smithsburg
A sophomore, Huntzberry established himself during the latter half of the season and ended with a 40.3 average. He finished 35th in his first state tournament appearance.
Becky Gossard, North Hagerstown
A senior, Gossard made four straight trips to the state tournament. She finished in a tie for sixth at the state meet and had a 39.0 stroke average.
Adam Schofield, Boonsboro
A senior, Schofield had a 42 average and qualified as an individual for the state tournament.
Tyler Brown, Clear Spring
A senior, Brown shot a season-best 79 in the district tournament and qualified for the state tournament. He averaged a 42 for the season.
Alex Beckel, Saint James
A junior, Beckel gets an All-County nod for the second straight year. Averaged 41.7 for the Saints while playing hurt and on demanding courses. Second-place medalist in the MAC championship.

Honorable mention
Boonsboro
— Scot Drury; Broadfording — Daniel Christiansen; North Hagerstown — Bobby Harwood, Drew Miguel; Saint James — Sung Mo Ku, Tucker Oelsen; Smithsburg — Shane Fritts, Christian Grosh; Matt Snowden; Williamsport — Ryan Crabtree.

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