ALTAMONT — Schalmont senior Tyler Pepicelli and a few of his buddies played a handful of golf rounds over the summer just for kicks.
“We just picked it up and liked it a lot,” Pepicelli said. “We didn’t realize we were practicing.”
Turns out that’s exactly what Pepicelli and pals Sam Parisi, Dalton Reagan and Carter Gould were doing as a prep for their first season with the Schalmont golf team.
Had the Colonial Council not pushed several fall sports to next spring due to coronavirus concerns, Pepicelli and Parisi would have been playing soccer and Reagan would have been running cross country.
Gould’s top sport is baseball. Schalmont’s new cast of golfers also includes football player Ryan Delaney and Matt Stoliker, who has a baseball background.
“We all like being part of a team,” Pepicelli said Tuesday after carding a 43 in Schalmont’s 180-187 Colonial Council win over Mohonasen/Schenectady at Orchard Creek Golf Club. “It was a good choice.”
Mohonasen/Schenectady also has a pack of players who would be doing something different in a normal fall, including football standout Alex Gannon, who, like Pepicelli and Stoliker, was among his teams’ six varsity golfers who competed Tuesday.
“With no football, I decided, ‘I’m going to play,'” said Gannon, a senior, who finished with a 51 over the front nine. “I try to do my best and get better every time I play. So far, I’ve done that.”
Both Schalmont and Mohonasen/Schenectady have larger-than-usual rosters this year with 19 and 23 student-athletes, respectively, including girls on both squads.
“The soccer and football kids wanted to do something,” said Mohonasen/Schenectady assistant coach Greg Massaroni, who usually works with Mohonasen’s modified football team in the fall season. “We didn’t have cuts.”
Massaroni said his team includes six football players and five soccer players.
“A lot of us would have been playing other sports,” Pepicelli said.
Mark Amedore paced Schalmont with a 41 on the par-36 course, and after Pepicelli’s 43 (which featured a birdie on the second hole) was Connor McKelvey at 46 and Dannah Smith at 50.
“That’s tough to overcome when they shoot a 41 and a 43,” Massaroni said. “For a high school player on this course, that’s very good.”
Dylan Daunais led Mohonasen/Schenectady with a 44, Townes McKiernan fired a 46, Keagan Monroe had a 48 and Jacob Leach had a 49.
Out on the course, players could be seen offering up suggestions and support for teammates and opponents alike.
“It’s great to see rivals helping each other out on the golf course,” Schalmont coach Anthony Cassale said.
“You meet up, try to have some fun, and at the end of the day you have a couple of new friends,” Pepicelli said.
Schalmont — Amedore 41, Pepicelli 43, McKelvey 46, Smith 50. Mohonasen/Schenectady — Daunais 44, McKiernan 46, Monroe 48, Leach 49.
Reach Jim Schiltz at [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.