It wasn’t a storybook ending for Ishmail Jabbie last season. With rain dumping onto the University of Maryland golf course during the second and final round of the state championship, Jabbie, the only Prince George’s County player to make the cut, drowned out any hopes of a low finish with a birdie-less and bogey-laden 92.
“I just started unraveling,” he told The Gazette after the state tournament last October. “When you stand over the ball and you don’t know where it’s going to go, that’s a bad omen, but it’s a learning experience.”
The Eleanor Roosevelt High School sophomore now headlines a deep Raider team that includes junior Bryan Morris and sophomore Andrew Hung. Roosevelt is poised to run the county again. Last year’s team featured four of the seven Prince George’s players that broke 90 in the county championship and seven of the 13 that kept it in double digits. The only significant blow Roosevelt has been dealt is the graduation of county champ Casey Meadows.
“We have a pretty good team but this county is full of a lot of other teams,” Jabbie said. “You never know when one is going to pop up.”
Jabbie has paid his dues this summer to ensure that if somebody — say, Oxon Hill junior DeMarkis Cooper — does make a charge, his game will be up for the challenge.
“I’m just trying to become a more complete player,” he said. “I worked on my short game, my putting, my chipping, my longer clubs so I can put myself in better position to score.”
Top contender to watch: Oxon Hill’s DeMarkis Cooper missed the cut for the final round of the state tournament last year, but he remains a dangerous threat to climb the leaderboard this season. Cooper was the only Prince George’s representative to qualify for the state tournament other than Jabbie and matched his local rival with an 85 at the county championships.
More players to watch: Adrian Stewart burst onto the scene his freshman season, capturing the county title and the attention of Prince George’s golfers. Now the Bowie junior is aiming to reclaim the crown after losing it to Roosevelt’s Casey Meadows last fall. While he finished third with an 84 last season, Stewart still has the potential to be the most formidable individual in the field.
Suitland junior Jahmar Seltzer was one of seven players to crack 90 in the county championships last season.
Team that could be a wildcard: Entering last season, Douglass coach Jim Woods proudly boasted a resume of 10 County 3A/2A/1A League titles in 11 years. He said it’s always tough to tell what kind of team he has early in the season, but he said he is grateful to return senior Wade Windsor and junior O’Mari Hammons and hopes to get another three or four players to join the Eagles’ ranks.