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Golf team learning lessons on and off the course


In a match September 22 against McGann-Mercy High School in Riverhead, the Shelter Island varsity golf team won in great style.

The day before our contest, McGann-Mercy defeated the tough Southold /Greenport team with some magnificent scoring. We saw the scores and were, naturally, nervous since Southold/Greenport had just defeated us by a score of 7 to 2, just two days prior.

But on this day, it was all Shelter Island. On our home course, Gardiner’s Bay Country Club, we scored a decisive victory, by scoring a 7.5 to 1.5 final tally. Everyone won his or her matches, except Owen Gibbs in the number three positions, who tied his match. Also, Bianca Evangelista, in the fourth position shot a 47, but lost by a single stroke.

Our number one, Nicholas Young, continued his fabulous play this year with a one over par 36 and a sizzling 12-stroke triumph over Mercy’s number one. In the five matches we’ve played this year, Nicholas has defeated the number one player from each school four times. His last three scores are 37, 34 and 36. This Shelter Island sophomore’s name is already well known all around league VII. Congratulations, Nicholas.

Playing the second best player from each team is Lucas Quigley-Dunning. Usually the number two players is a junior or senior on each team. Lucas has not been intimidated by the older players in the number two spot and has been playing consistently well. On this day, he fired a solid round of 48, a score that was good enough to win his match by five strokes.

A welcome home was in order for Erik Thilberg, who was away for our last three matches. Erik played in the number five position and shot a 45, a round that was good enough to score a five-stroke victory. Unfortunately, the opposition’s number six player didn’t show up, but I have to believe Nico Seddio was ready for him. Nico had one of his better rounds with a 51 for the nine holes.

Even though only the first six scores count, we always have two exhibition players. On this day we had two hotshot exhibition players that posted their best rounds for the year. Katie Doyle had the round of her life, with a magnificent score of 41. Henry Binder had his best round of the year with an outstanding 47. Mason Marcello was also away for the last three matches, but he didn’t seem to lose much ground with his normal round of 61.

For some reason, the league teams all seem to be better this year than the past few that I remember. Eastport and Mattituck are the leagues two best and we already fell twice to Mattituck and once to Eastport. With seven matches left to play, the Island’s record now stands at 4 and 1 for the season.

We’re all excited about finally breaking the ice and hope for a few more victories this season. As their coach, I want to say that everything I consider really important in high school sports is happening with this group of kids.

To watch them play as a team and enjoy the game of golf and the competition is a joy to me. People seem to forget that the word is play golf, not work golf. That’s exactly what they’re doing while they learn many life lessons and a sport for a lifetime.

They also have a coach, assistant coach (Father Peter), and unofficial coach (David Doyle) who really enjoy being with them. Another life lesson!

Courtesy photo: The Shelter Island varsity golf team. From left, Henry Binder, Kate Doyle, Nicholas Young, Bianca Evangelista, Erik Thilberg, Wes Congdon, Nico Seddio, Lucas Quigley-Dunning, Owen Gibbs and Coach Bob DeStefano. Not present, Mason Marcello and Assistant Coach Father Peter DieSanctis.