Hartley Roundup: Boys golf squad working to create memories
Senior Andrew Navarro won't trade the memories he and his teammates will make this season as members of the Hartley boys golf team.
If the Hawks show improvement and are competitive, particularly when they play CCL matches, so much the better.
"It feels really good to be back out," Navarro said. "We're all trying to work together as a team. We have pretty good chemistry, but also at the same time we want to work on our individual games and go after the goal of shooting better than we did last year."
Navarro spent most of his summer at golf courses, including working four days a week at New Albany Links.
He leads a veteran lineup filled with upperclassmen.
Andrew Inthavongsone was the only player lost to graduation after he finished seventh in last year's Division II district tournament at Denison Golf Club.
The Hawks finished third (357) as only the champion advanced to state.
Junior Cameron Casto had Hartley's second-best score at district with an 87, with Navarro shooting 92. Seniors Colton Ramsey and Dominic Rees are other returnees who represented the Hawks at district.
Hartley opened Aug. 5 by finishing 16th (352) in the 20-team Pickerington Central Invitational at Turnberry behind the champion and host Tigers (298).
The CCL preseason tournament is Wednesday, Aug. 19, at Hickory Hills.
"It's going pretty well," Rees said. "We have some high hopes this year. We definitely want to finish second in the CCL and we want to give ourselves some chances in tournaments. We think this year as we get better in the season we could get up there with some other teams. We try to practice all we can and want to do well in tournaments."
Also looking to contribute are seniors Tyler Wood, Mason Casto and Nathan Bentivegna and junior Sam Shisler.
Shawn Wood, who had been coaching the St. Pius X middle school program, took over as coach after David Liskowiak stepped down.
"We've got a lot of returning kids," coach Wood said. "We just want to keep improving. We want all the kids just to get better and I think they will the more they keep playing throughout the year. (They hope to) quit wasting strokes and do the best they can."
Girls golf program continues to build
Of the seven players who came out for the girls golf program, six are returnees but only two are seniors.
Third-year coach Kerry Ford believes this bodes well for the process of adding numbers and experience that has taken place since he took over the program.
"A good friend of mine is Mike Rahe, the (athletics director) at Hartley, and I've been around the golf community and played high school golf at St. Charles," Ford said. "I wanted to help him out and said I'd help out for a couple years, and now we're building the program. We have seven girls this year, and we're getting some good experience."
The top returnee is senior Nicole Deline, a two-time Division I district qualifier who last season finished 18th (84).
Senior Caroline Berger has returned as the No. 2 player.
Junior Nicola Eramo and sophomore Lauren Whitlatch are other returnees who were expected to be in the lineup Aug. 10 when the Hawks competed in the CCL preseason tournament at NorthStar. The other round of CCL competition will be held Oct. 10 at the same site.
Sophomores Olivia Brotherton and Abby Murphy are the other returnees. They might rotate with freshman Eva McKnight for the fifth spot.
"I'm really excited about this team," Ford said. "They've got some good experience. Nicole has made it to district twice. I'm building a program so we didn't really do tryouts, but Nicole and Caroline are really solid players. I expect Caroline to improve into the 80s. Nicole has made great strides over the past year and in practice has done really well.
"I have pretty high expectations. I want to win the CCL; they want to win the CCL. We don't know if we have the firepower, but we're going to give it (our best effort)."
At a glance
*Coach: Shawn Wood, first season
*Top players: Cameron Casto, Andrew Navarro, Colton Ramsey, Dominic Rees and Tyler Wood
*Key loss: Andrew Inthavongsone
*2019 CCL standings: St. Charles (8-0), Watterson (6-2), DeSales and Hartley (3-5), Ready (0-8)
*2019 postseason: Third at district
*Coach: Kerry Ford, third season
*Top players: Caroline Berger, Nicole Deline, Nicola Eramo and Lauren Whitlatch
*Key losses: None
*2019 CCL standings: DeSales (6-0), Watterson (4-2), Hartley (2-4), Ready (0-6)
*2019 postseason: 10th at sectional