The Suburban Council’s top player dazzled, and its top team showed off its depth at Wednesday’s Section II Class A golf championships, but a senior foursome combined to lift Albany Academy to the team title that eluded it a year ago.
“Last year, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves as the defending champions,” Albany Academy senior Tom Sneeringer said. “We took that pressure off ourselves this year.”
Albany Academy won the team title in 2013 before finishing in third place behind CBA and Shaker a year ago. This year, Albany Academy shot a 304 to win the team title, with Sneeringer’s even-par 72 leading the Cadets of the Colonial Council to the victory at Eagle Crest Golf Club. Filling in behind Sneeringer for Albany Academy were fellow seniors John Malicki (75), Sean Puleo (77), and Patrick Hayes (80).
“The last few weeks, these guys have had such a confidence about them,” Albany Academy coach Jak Bestle said. “It was really relaxed.”
Bethlehem sophomore Austin Fox finished as the day’s medalist with a 71, while his team’s 320 finished in fourth place after losing a tiebreaker with CBA for third. Shenendehowa, which went undefeated through the Suburban Council season, shot a 313 to finish in second place.
“We’ve had so many positives this year,” Shenendehowa coach Chris Douglas said. “Finishing in second place to a strong Academy team is nothing to be upset about for us.”
Tom McPartlon, a junior, led Shenendehowa with a 75, which tied him for third place in the individual competition with Malicki and CBA sophomore Jack O’Hara.
“We played well, so it’s not a disappointment,” McPartlon said. “Second place hurts a bit, but we know we still all played well.”
“We’ll take second behind Academy,” added Shenendehowa senior Mike Ross, who shot a 79. “They’re a great team with really strong players.”
McPartlon and Ross were two of five Shenendehowa players to qualify for next week’s state qualifier event at the Orchard Creek Golf Club in Altamont, the most of any team at Wednesday’s event. In all, 27 players qualified for next week’s competition, as it ended up that everyone who shot an 83 or better was accepted into the field.
Played under a cloudy sky and with an ever-present wind, most players seemed to view Eagle Crest as one of the tougher — and longer — courses of the season.
“The putting was difficult and the kids had to take longer irons onto the greens, which made it tougher to get the ball to stop,” Niskayuna coach Ben Smith said.
“So, for the kids to be 83 and better, that’s a great number,” Bestle said.
Individually, nobody was happier than Bethlehem’s Fox, who continued a tremendous sophomore season with a 71 that made up for a disappointing showing a year ago.
“Last year,” Fox said, “I shot an 87 at sectionals, and that was a big letdown.”
After experiencing their own letdown last year, Sneeringer said the stress-free Cadets were in the right state of mind to secure their second area title in three years.
“This year,” Sneeringer said, “we went out and had some fun.”
Albany Academy 304, Shenendehowa 313, CBA 320, Bethlehem 320, Saratoga Springs 333, Guilderland 334, Shaker 338, Queensbury 340, Ballston Spa 352, Niskayuna 354, La Salle 364, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 368.
Individual scores (top 27 move on to the state qualifier Tuesday at Orchard Creek Golf Club)
1. Austin Fox (Beth) 71, 2. Tom Sneeringer (AA) 72, 3. John Malicki (AA) 75, 3. Tom McPartlon (Shen) 75, 3. Jack O’Hara (CBA) 75, 6. Sean Puleo (AA) 77, 7. Wyatt Pisarski (Schen) 78, 8. Graem DeLong (BSpa) 79, 8. Mason Munger (Shen) 79, 8. Mike Ross (Shen) 79, 11. Connor Adams (CBA) 80, 11. Kyle Adams (CBA) 80, 11. Madison Braman (Shak) 80, 11. Noah Bonn (Quee) 80, 11. Angelo Cafaro (Shen) 80, 11. Patrick Hayes (AA) 80, 11. Kellen Reiner (Guild) 80, 18. Harry Thorp (Beth) 81, 19. Nick Rumsey (N) 82, 20. Rob Battle (SS) 83, 20. Christian Gramuglia (BH-BL) 83, 20. Jimmy Gray (G) 83, 20. Colton Hart (SS) 83, Owen Jones (BH-BL) 83, Tim Pisinski (Shak) 83, 20. Nate Shawver (SS) 83, 20. Mitch Virkler (Shen) 83, 28. Colin Buyck (G) 84, 28. Michael Doxie (N) 84, 28. Alex Hearley (Q) 84, 28. Tyler Hull (Beth) 84, 28. Seungmin Kim (SS) 84, 28. Henry Manley (Beth) 84, 28. Ben Palmateer (SS) 84, 35. Alex Chase (Q) 85, 35. Calvin Cleworth (Schen) 85, 35. Tyler Hartman (CBA) 85, 38. Ryan Davis (Beth) 86, 38. Paul Liguori (Shen) 86, 38. Nick Pascazio (Shak) 86.
GAZETTE COVERAGEEnsure access to everything we do, today and every day, check out our subscribe page at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe
More from The Daily Gazette:
Categories: High School Sports, Sports