Varsity golf shoots for undefeated season

Eric Fishbin, Sports Editor

Well into the 2014 season, the Viking golf team has propelled itself to an unbeaten record.  With no seniors in the starting lineup and only one senior listed on the team’s roster, the young squad not only has potential to make a splash in the playoffs this year, it also has a bright future for years to come.

Despite young age, seven of the twelve players are returning from last year’s roster. Of these seven, six have been on the team since their freshman year,

The neophytes, led by junior captains Eric Beil, Nick D’Alonzo, and Eric Schissel, are four wins away from a perfect record, and a spot at counties at the end of the season.

“We have an incredibly young team which will be good for future years.  Hopefully, this year we will make it to the second day of counties and then if we play like we have been playing so far, we could have a shot at states which is a three day trip to Cornell,” said D’Alonzo.

The system for scoring in high school golf on Long Island is as follows: There are six starting positions, and the first seed on one team plays the first seeded golfer on the opposing team and so on.  Each head to head victory earns one point for the team.  There are a total of nine points, six from head to head match ups and three points for the lowest cumulative strokes score.

“As of now, there are four players from last year’s roster in the top six positions.  There is plenty of knowledge and leadership for the new players in the line-up from these returning golfers,” said Coach Ms. Kathy Doughty.

In the 2012 golf season, Port finished 1-7 and in last place.  Then, they earned a playoff berth with a 6-2 record in 2013. This year, the undefeated Vikings are poised for the playoffs and an undefeated record.

“Our team is the strongest it has been since the 2010 team, who won counties, and we are excited to move forward.  This could be a big year for the golf team.  We are looking to start up a dynasty,” said sophomore Theo Nick.

The biggest victory of the season came in the Vikings’ first match against rival Wheatley.

Last year, Port was not able to defeat them in two attempts, and Wheatley was the only team to beat them all season.  However, the Vikings defeated Wheatley 6-3.

“If our opening win is any indication of what the team can do, I am very optimistic for the season.  Wheatley was last year’s Conference winner and the only team to beat us.  It was a solid team win and we expect more to come.  I feel we have a solid team this season.  The younger players have some game and they are willing to push the caliber of play to their capacity.  The ‘10 on the golf banner has been there too long and we expect to put a ‘14 up there this year,” said Coach Doughty.

The golf atmosphere is usually a serious one, and the Vikings are serious about winning, but over the course of the season the team has developed into a fun atmosphere of which to be a part.

“The social aspect of the team has improved tremendously this season.  Also, with our blue and white checkered pants, we are the best dressed team in the school,” said D’Alonzo.

At the end of this school year, Ms. Doughty, who has been with the Port Washington School District for thirty-five years, will be retiring as a gym teacher from Sousa Elementary School, which she has been with for twenty-four years.  Despite ending her teaching career, Doughty hopes to continue with her passion of coaching the golf team for years to come.

“I started coaching the golf team nine or ten years ago.  The golf program has established itself as a winning tradition and I would like to think I have contributed to that tradition.  I would like to continue to be a part of the program for many more seasons” said Coach Doughty.

The Vikings look to finish the season undefeated and win the conference.