Golf drives home legacy with playoff berth

Aaron Brezel, Assistant Sports Editor

In high school sports, achieving sustained success over more than a couple of years is rare.  Every four years there is an entirely new crop of athletes that may or may not repeat the accomplishments of the past seasons.

The varsity golf team is an exception.  Since 1962, the team has won a total of twenty-one conference championships, two North Shore championships, six Nassau County Championships, two Long Island championships, and two state championships.  For visual proof, one need only take a trip to the main gym.  While most teams list a few scattered years on their banner, golf needs three banners to chronicle its successes.

“This is a great source of pride in the athletic department and for Schreiber High School,” said Athletic Director Stephanie Joannon, “We are fortunate in Port Washington to have an exceptional golf course on which our students can learn.  Our golfers take the sport seriously which when combined with excellent coaching and guidance is the reason why Schreiber golf remains competitive year after year.”

Even as more schools establish golf programs, there has been no sign of the Vikings slowing down.

Leading the team into this new era has been veteran coach Ms. Kathleen Doughty.  In her nine years with the team, the it has won the conference championship five times, including three straight years from 2008-2010.

Aaron Hwang and Kelly Shon are the most decorated golfers to come through the program under Coach Doughty’s term.  Hwang qualified for the New York State Championship in 2005 and 2006.  Shon graduated in 2010 to play golf at Princeton University, but before she left she was part of a team that dominated their conference in the late 2000s.

A five-year varsity veteran, she qualified for the New York State Championship in 2009 and again in 2010 after placing second in Nassau County.  By the time she graduated she was named one of the top 20-college freshman to watch by Golfweek magazine.  This year she was named the Ivy League Player of the Year.After Shon’s senior season, the golf team dropped into an uncharacteristic lean period.

The team failed to win conferences for the first time in four years and the 2012 season saw the team go 1-7, snapping a streak of six straight winning seasons.

“These past couple seasons have been disappointing for me yes.  But you know what, we had a young team, especially in 2012, they didn’t really know the procedure and the format so I think it took time for them to realize what it took.  They did not want to go back to being a 2-6 team,” said Coach Doughty.

The nucleus of the aforementioned young team is entering its second year together and has already improved on its finish last year.

“The main reason I think is because last year besides me all of our starters were first year players so the nerves got to them.  This year we came in knowing our potential and how to compete so we were much better prepared then last year,” said junior Aaron Schuckman.

At 6-2, Port failed to win its conference, placing second behind a strong Wheatley squad.  A late push at the end of the season; however, clinched a wildcard spot for the county playoffs.

All twelve teams will compete at counties on May 21 at the Bethpage State Park golf course.  In that match, Port’s top six golfers will tee off.  Listed in lineup order, they are sophomore Eric Schissel, sophomore Eric Beil, sophomore Nick D’Alonzo, senior Michael Orso, Schuckman, and freshman Theo Nick.

With four out of the six top golfers being underclassman, this is not a “win now” scenario.  Port is eager to get back to its winning ways.

“Last year we were 1-7 this year were werre 6-2,” said Schissel. “Things like that don’t just happen overnight- It takes hard work, dedication, and and commitment.”