The Northern golf team has been the top team so far in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference.
That trend continued with a sweep over visiting Leonardtown and Calvert on Wednesday at Twin Shields Golf Club in Dunkirk.
The Patriots (9-0, 9-0 SMAC) had three golfers in the top four slots to finish with a 158, while Calvert earned the split after finishing with a 173, a stroke ahead of Leonardtown.
Coming into the match, Northern had posted three of the top four scores in the conference and had averaged 154.3 through the first three weeks.
“This year we expect to be good and we’re just trying to keep them humble,” Northern head coach Mickey Norfolk said of the defending SMAC tournament champions. “This is our home course, so we play it every day and we shot a 144 a couple weeks ago, so we lost a lot of strokes [off that today]. I’m not looking for them to shoot a 144 every time, but I think some of them, some of my seniors, forget to do the little things that got you here and spend the time on the little things.”
The Cavaliers (4-4, 4-4) shot their season average and had two players finish in the top six on the day.
“I thought we’d have a chance to beat Leonardtown, so they played up to my expectations, but Northern’s just a little too strong for us right now,” Calvert head coach Jeremy Kurutz said. “They’ve got a very strong squad, so they would have had to have a really bad day and we would have had to have had a really good day to beat them. I still think we can shoot in the 160s.”
The Raiders (1-8, 1-8) shot below 180 for the first time this season and were led by Cody Jameson, who shot a match-best 2-over-par 37 along with Northern’s Jacob Benish.
“I started off with a bogey, which didn’t help, but I’m satisfied with a 37,” said Jameson, who parred his last six holes. “I had two rounds this year that weren’t too great, but I’ve been working hard to get back and get ready for the 18-hole matches.”
“Cody had a good score,” Leonardtown head coach Ben Weiland said, “and a couple of the other guys did all right.”
Benish birdied the second and ninth holes and shot par on four of six holes in between. Benish could not be reached for comment.
Northern’s Tyler Markward and Ryan Emmert each shot 39 and Connor Healey of Calvert had four straight pars to finish with a 40.
“I thought I played all right,” Healey said. “I had a couple three-putts, so I probably could have saved a couple strokes off that. I’m pretty happy with how I played.”
Jackson Shannon of Calvert added a 42 and was not pleased with his round.
“I started off real good, but then I had a couple bogeys, so I just wanted to keep it together the rest of the round and then shoot birdies,” he said. “But they just aerated the greens and fairways so that took its toll and I just kind of fell apart the last couple holes.”
Entering Wednesday’s action, Northern was ahead of North Point and Huntingtown, which each had one loss.
“Our goals are a bit higher than last year,” Norfolk said. “They need to focus on golf and the things that help you shoot low scores are really mundane things like chipping 100 balls a day, putting for half an hour. I think a lot of them are humble and a lot of them I’m not sure they know what it takes. Jake is always consistent because he does know [what it takes]. And Tyler is someone who’s really impressed me because he works a lot.”
Northern will play Huntingtown in a tri-match with Thomas Stone at 4 p.m. Thursday at White Plains Golf Course in White Plains to wrap up the regular season looking to clinch the conference’s regular season title.
Leonardtown will finish the regular season on its home course at Breton Bay Golf and Country Club in Leonardtown in a tri-match with Great Mills and Lackey, also at 4 p.m. Thursday.
Northern 158, Calvert 173, Leonardtown 174
Northern: Benish 37, Emmert 39, Markward 39, Dege 43
Calvert: Healey 40, Shannon 42, Watt 44, Day 47
Leonardtown: Jameson 37, Davis 43, Carroll 46, Schneider 48