Washington County Golf: Hubs, Leopards seek return trip to College Park

August 28, 2011|By TIM KOELBLE |
  • Washington County Preps Previews
Washington County Preps Previews

North Hagerstown and Smithsburg each reached the Maryland state tournament in 2010. In both camps, there are expectations of a repeat trip in October.

Behind Aaron Staley, North made its first appearance since 1984. The Leopards have been regular visitors, having won the 2005 team title in Class 1A/2A.

Staley, now a junior and the reigning Herald-Mail Washington County Player of the Year, is the top name among local linksters, coming off a year in which he averaged 37.8 strokes per nine holes.

“It will be a tough road,” said North coach Joel Rice.

The Hubs jump up to the 3A/4A classification in 2011, meaning schools such as Urbana and Walkersville, among others, will provide the stiffest competition when it comes to district qualifying.

Meanwhile, Smithsburg has plenty of experience back, starting with junior Kyle Huntzberry, an All-County selection last year who averaged 40 per nine.

“I expect steady play from Kyle,” said Leopards coach Dan Neff. “He won’t give a round away. that’s his leadership.”

Aside from the regular-season schedule, the road to College Park begins with the districts on Sept. 19-20.


The Warriors will have a youth movement on stage this season, as indicated by freshman Matt Sherdell, who led the team in scoring in its first match of the season.

“When you have a freshman leading your scores, it becomes a rebuilding year,” said first-year coach Max Schaffer. “It can only get better.”

Junior T.J. Shadoan and David Wilbraham had playing time last year, and Schaffer is high on junior Ryan Walsh.


Junior brothers Matt and Daniel Christiansen are back to lead the Lions, with hopes of each averaging around 40 this year.

“If we get sub-40s from the Christiansens, we’ll compete, win some matches and get above .500 for the year,” said coach Jon Pryor. “There’s lots of teaching and we’ll have fun.”

Pryor will call upon senior Joe Garish, junior Zach Tussing, sophomore Aaron Litten and freshman Austin Fogle to help the cause.

Clear Spring

Another youth movement cis under way for the Blazers as Kevin Alden takes over.

“We had two kids that decided to play fall baseball, so we are young and inexperienced,” said Alden, who takes over for Darren Smith.

Clear Spring has five seniors — Trei Commer, Eric Martell, Kyle Shanholtz, Cassandra Suder and Logan Houser — but all have limited experience. There are four sophomores and one freshman on the squad.

North Hagerstown

The Hubs are in the mood to return to College Park, but this time it will be in 3A/4A and outstanding regional teams such as Urbana are standing in the way.

Junior Chad Shindle and sophomore Drew Miguel, coming off good summers, will support Staley very well. Rice will also look to senior Jason Moody and juniors Nate Parchment and Sam Robertson. The coach also is high on freshmen Hunter Martin and Kyle Moir.

“It will be new for us in 3A/4A, so I know we’ve got to go down in team scores in the 320 range in districts,” said Rice. “We need someone to step into Becky (Gossard’s) place and until I see that resolved, it will be a question.”

Saint James

Coach Karl Yergey enters his fifth year with the Saints and his fourth with senior Alex Beckel in the lineup. Beckel averaged 41 per nine last year.

A two-time All-County performer in the always-tough Mid Atlantic Conference, Beckel should continue as one of the best in Washington County.

“(Alex) should again contend for postseason honors and provide solid, consistent on-course leadership,” said Yergey, who said he has high hopes for sophomores Patrick Hart and Ben Holland.


The Leopards have three golfers with state tournament experience, and Neff is building on that to get back to College Park in 1A/2A.

Seniors Christian Grosh and Shane Fritts join Huntzberry as factors for Smithsburg. Huntzberry averaged 40 per nine last year. Grosh and Fritts were honorable mention All-County.

“You hate to say it early but we’re expecting a return to states,” said Neff. “We have depth. The top four is solid.”

The fourth man in the lineup will be senior Logan McSherry, who also gained experience in 2010.

South Hagerstown

The Rebels have players with experience back, but not necessarily in the low-scoring category as seniors Luke Shindle, George Canova and Isaac O’Brien return.

Senior Riley Stephenson is on board for his first year, as is sophomore Cody Reeder, who shed some light for South as the low scorer in the season opener.

“I really don’t know what to expect,” said coach Garrett Stephenson. “We’ve got some kids with potential. I need to teach and develop them for the future.”

St. Maria Goretti

Freshman Niklas Steiner is the new kid on the Gaels’ block, giving coach Bill Hoffman reason to expect overall improvement in Goretti’s results.

“Nik has the potential to have a big year and (be) All-County by the end of the season,” said Hoffman. “We’ll have a turnaround from last year.”

How much also will depend on the development of sophomore Jacob Moats, whom Hoffman says “has great hand-eye coordination from baseball.” Junior Michael DiMercurio returns, as well as sophomores Ryan Kinter and Ian Fairley.


Senior Scot Drury and junior Ryan Crabtree were honorable mention All-County last year, both averaging around 42, and that pair will lead the Wildcats for coach Rod Steiner.

“Those two should be competitive with improved short games and around the green,” said Steiner. “We have depth, but its not outstanding. If we get help from them, we could have a good year.”

The Wildcats will turn to seniors Matt Stemper and Ryan Corgard to possibly fill those roles, each having experience from a year ago.

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