Barnegat Leader Spring Sports Preview

Barnegat Golfers Rely on Experience to Be Competitive

Apr 20, 2018
Photo by: David Biggy Senior Maxwell Lares returns this spring as one of the Barnegat boys golf team’s best players.

Experience goes a long way on the golf course, and that means the Barnegat boys team should be in good shape this spring.

“Our team should be very competitive this year,” said coach Rick Blasi, whose team went only 2-12 a year ago. “We have an experienced group of players that made a lot of progress last year, and we’re looking to build on it this year.”

The lead player at the top of the Bengals’ lineup is senior Maxwell Lares, the team’s top player from last spring. He will be backed up by seniors Jerry Neaves, Sam Gottesman and Garrett Majewski, as well as juniors Nick Spitz and Kyle Smith. Adding to Barnegat’s depth this season will be juniors Matt Kulpa and James Davenport, and sophomores Peter Toth and Grady Edwards.

Because spring break was right at the beginning of April, the Bengals had an extra week to prepare for the regular season. It seems to have helped. Barnegat got off to a 3-0 start before playing in the Ocean County Tournament on April 16.

The Bengals started the season on April 9 with a 195-217 victory over Shore Conference Class B South rival Jackson Liberty, then followed it with a pair of wins during a tri-match with Central and Manchester – Barnegat scoring 204 to Central’s 214 and Manchester’s 235.

In their latest victories on April 12, Spitz led the squad with a 48, followed by Lares with a 50 and Smith with a 52. Toth carded a 54 and Edwards registered a 58. Against the Lions earlier in the week, Lares kicked off the season with a 45, while Edwards came back to the clubhouse with a 48, and Spitz and Smith recorded scores of 50 and 52, respectively.

Unfortunately, the Bengals didn’t fare too well at the county tournament, played at Sea Oaks Golf Club in Little Egg Harbor. Finishing with a team score of 439, Barnegat was led by Lares, who scored a 104, while Kulpa and Spitz finished with scores of 105 and 111, respectively.

“We struggled, to say the least,” Blasi said. “On a positive note, though, Matt Kulpa has only been playing for two months and is progressing nicely.”

As for the Barnegat girls, Sue Rogers’ crew is in a bit of a rebuilding phase. Coming off a 1-16 season a year ago, the Bengals are relying on a senior, Katie Rydarowski, and a handful of sophomores to create some positive strides for the program: Madison Linton, Donna Zhang, Jasmine Reid, Makayla Adams and Kiersten Glonek.

While the team scores have dropped since the first match of the season, the Bengals are off to an 0-4 start.

During a 215-236 loss to typically strong Toms River North, Linton scored a 50 to lead the charge, while Reid carded a 59, and Zhang and Adams recorded scores of 63 and 64, respectively. In a 232-247 decision against St. Rose, Zhang was the Bengals’ top scorer with a 58, while Linton finished with a 60, Reid notched a 62, and Rydarowski carded a 67.

On April 10, Barnegat lost a 238-240 contest to Central, but three of the Bengals each scored under 60 – Reid led with a 56, while Linton and Zhang each tallied a 58. Adams was the fourth Bengal on the leaderboard, with a 68.

David Biggy 

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