Stafford Leader

With Trio of Seniors, Southern Boys Golf Targets Greater Success

Spring Sports Preview
Apr 13, 2018
Photo by: David Biggy Senior Caleb Rossi is back on the links to lead the Southern Regional boys golf team, as it seeks another Shore Conference Class A South division title as well as several others.

Consistent success has been a hallmark for several Southern Regional spring sports programs during the past 10 years. Coach Jeff Reilly’s boys golf team is among that group, and will be again this season. In fact, the Rams already are off to a flying start.

Starting the season amid a much warmer climate in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Southern’s golfers fared well at the annual Palmetto High School Golf Championship, then returned home and, despite the cold, captured the Wildcat Invitational. Now, as mid-April rolls around, the Rams will be seeking more success.

“We’re confident our guys can compete in Class A South, Ocean County, Shore Conference and Group IV this season,” said Reilly, whose squad is going after a fifth straight Ocean County Tournament title on Monday, April 16. “We graduated Matt Rizzo from last year’s team, but we have three outstanding seniors who have had great careers and have been looking forward to this season.”

The three leading the way are Caleb Rossi, Chris D’Alessandro and Nick Campanelli – all have played since their freshman year and are among the best in the county. Rossi is the defending county champ, and D’Alessandro and Campanelli aren’t much of a drop-off from his level of play. At the Wildcat, Rossi won the individual title with a 78, while D’Alessandro and Campanelli each carded an 84, as the Rams snagged the team crown as well.

While Southern’s three seniors can easily carry the squad through the match-play season, it’s the fourth and fifth positions that are going to matter most for the Rams later in the season as they compete for Shore Conference and NJSIAA sectional titles. Junior Peter Fabian will occupy the fourth spot – he scored a 90 at the Wildcat, good enough for 10th place overall – and senior Ethan Leming seems to be the likely fit for fifth position.

Senior Matt Fey, junior Stephen Oakes and sophomore Jonathan Sheehan may get a fifth-position nod here and there as the spring moves on. The rest of the team is made up of junior Ronald Henefer, sophomores Patrick Campoli and Jason Sari, and freshman Christopher Rizzo.

At the Palmetto Classic, the Rams ended up sixth amid the First Flight standings after recording a team score of 687 during the prestigious two-day event. Rossi paced Southern with a two-day score of 157, which positioned him in seventh place, while D’Alessandro carded a 25th-place score of 172 and Campanelli’s 173 gave him 28th place.

The Rams likely will be battling with Toms River North for the Shore Conference Class A South crown, as it has been for several years.

As for the Southern girls, coach Jim McCabe’s crew no doubt will have its hands full with Toms River North, as the Mariners are one of the better teams in the conference. But the Rams are a hopeful bunch, given the fact they have several seniors with varsity experience back for another turn on the links.

Leading the Rams this spring will be seniors Annie McCallion, Mia Roslin and Lyndsay Pisciotta, along with sophomore Grace Matusek. Senior Arielle Medenilla and sophomore Brenna Cousins also have returned to the team following Southern’s 7-5 season of a year ago.

Newcomers to the roster include sophomore Madina Solijonva and freshmen Julia Joannides and Jordan Rizzo.

The Southern girls opened up the season with a 236-246 victory over neighboring Barnegat at the Ocean County Golf Course at Atlantis. Roslin delivered a nine-hole score of 55, while McCallion carded a 59, and Pisciotta and Matusek each returned to the clubhouse with 61. Medenilla wasn’t far behind with a 62.

Against Barnegat on April 9, Pisciotta led the way with a 51. McCallion and Roslin each carded 55, and Matusek recorded a 63.

David Biggy

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