Take a minute and let this sink in: Nobody on Urbana High School’s 2012 golf team has ever lost a match, fell short of a county title, shot themselves out of a district tournament, or missed out on a state championship ring.
In fact, it has been so long since the Hawks dropped a match that coach Frank Ferrari can’t remember exactly when the last time was.
“It is getting pretty impressive,” he said.
Any pressure to keep up the 49-match win streak?
“We don’t feel any,” he said. “We just treat each year differently. This is a new group of kids that are hungry for the chance to play in matches they couldn’t have because of the talent in the past.”
If there was any year where the Hawks were going to be vulnerable, this is the one. Urbana graduated the four players that collected the state title last year. That same group also combined for a 4-under-par at the 2011 county tournament which, Ferrari said, is the lowest in history.
But any concern that Urbana may have been headed toward a shaky season already have been debunked by seniors Riley Tyeryar and Jon Moles as well as junior Ryan Woodward and freshman standout Teegan Stephenson. They matched last year’s season low of 149 in Urbana’s opener against Boonsboro last week, using three 37s and a 38.
Said Ferrari: “It’s a great start to the year.”
Player worth watching: Constantly below par last season, Linganore senior Ryan Cole should be the man to beat this year. He put on a masterful display at Clustered Spires last fall to win the county championship, carding a tournament record 65 en route to his second Frederick crown. A few weeks later he held a share for the lead at the state tournament with an opening round 2-under 69. He followed with a second round 77 to take third.
Biggest offseason acquisition: It’s not often a coach is going to turn to a freshman to assume the No.1 spot, but Middletown coach Jason Aud can’t ignore the talent resting in the hands of newcomer Jacob Darr. The freshman earned Player of the Year honors in the boys 14-15 age group on the Middle Atlantic PGA Junior Tour this summer, using two wins and three more top-five finishes to grab the title.
“[He is] a talented freshman,” Aud said. “After only a couple practice rounds I can see the desire in his eyes. He wants to win and he will help make Middletown a solid team.”
Senior Philip Addington has made significant improvements to his game since being an alternate during the Knights’ 2A/1A state title winning season in 2009. He is joined by fellow seniors Erik Williams and Zach Main as well as juniors Brendan Grife and Shane Cleverly.
Team to keep your eye on: Urbana casts a long shadow over the rest of the county, but it won’t be especially surprising if Tuscarora gives the Hawks a run for their money.
Seniors Josh McDaniel and Bailey McAuliffe have both been consistently under 40 in early practices and tryouts and could go as low as any player in the county. If a few putts break its way, Tuscarora could hover at around 160 strokes, which could beat any team Frederick County has to offer.
“We just need to be consistent,” co-head coach Jason Smith said. “We just gotta have four good scores. I’m just hoping to be up there with the top teams in the county.”
Players to watch
Linganore: Ryan Cole, senior
Middletown: Jacob Darr, freshman; Philip Addington, senior
Tuscarora: Bailey McAuliffe, senior; Josh McDaniel, senior
Urbana: Riley Tyeryar, senior; Jon Moles, senior; Ryan Woodward, junior; Teegan Stephenson, freshman