By Benito Vila
When a team has a hot streak, they become the ones to beat. So it has been for the upstart Pierson golf team, a 3-1 League VIII mark (5-1 overall) pushing them to towards the top of the standings.
One-sided losses to Southampton and East Hampton cooled the Whalers a bit last week, but an 8-1 win over Westhampton last Wednesday put the squad closer to a first-ever invitation to the county’s spring tournament.
Coach Sean Crowley explained the possibility this week, saying, “The state tournament is a spring event. Most of the schools in western Suffolk also play a spring season and they go for that. Our schools [on the East End] play a fall season.”
“Still, the county has a spring outing that includes us, usually at Indian Island in Riverhead. Teams that finish above .500 and towards the top of their league in the fall can bring as many as six players. Usually, I go with one or two of my players, even though it’s in the middle of baseball season and no one’s picked up a club for a while.”
Excited at the prospect of taking a bigger contingent this spring, Coach Crowley added, “It’s never been done since I’ve been around.”
To secure their spot as a team, the Whalers will need to win matches this week from Center Moriches today at Pine Hills Country Club in Manorville and Ross on Tuesday at East Hampton Golf Club on Abraham’s Path.
The contest with Center Moriches could prove more difficult than last month’s Pierson win at Noyac, the Devils coming on to surprise Southampton at Pine Hills this week. When asked what he has planned to prepare his team for that re-match today, Coach Crowley said, “We’ll talk about the course before we go out to play and we’ll talk about our approach. We want to keep from taking unnecessary chances and we want to play within ourselves.”
In the win over Westhampton, Jake Weingartner brought in the team low, shooting a 42, Gabe Denon, a stroke behind at 43. In all, the Whalers came in with a collective 227, the team low for the Noyac course this year. To earn the three points for the team win Wednesday, Harrison Bayrami, Adam Heller and James Fusco took their pairings.
On Thursday at the South Fork Country Club in Amagansett, East Hampton made off with an 8-1 win, Heller the only Whaler to win his match. Denon posted the team low at 43, with Dillon Decker (45) and Weingartner (48) just strokes behind.
To improve his team’s scores this week, Coach Crowley used practice time “at the range to work on individual shots and individual clubs that have been giving individual players trouble.”