WHITESBORO — As usual, the New Hartford Spartans boys golf team has lofty goals.
The Spartans came into Friday’s Tri Valley League match against rival Whitesboro with a 75-match win streak. New Hartford made it 76 straight with a 187-201 road victory over the Warriors at Hidden Valley Golf Club.
Senior Alec Bard shot 1-under-par 34 to lead the way for New Hartford (3-0). Fellow senior Matt Dreimiller shot 36 and junior Ryan Zogby carded a 37 for the Spartans. Alex Rich led the Warriors (2-1) with a 3-over 38.
Bard, who is fresh off caddying for his brother Derek at the Masters, thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity that not many seniors in high school get to experience.
“Last week was a great experience,” Bard said. “To see the best players in the world up close and how they go about it … it was unbelievable to see how they hit the ball.”
That experience also was a little taxing for Bard, who didn’t play his best during the Spartans’ two victories earlier this week. Friday, Bard got off to another slow start, but finished with three consecutive birdies to card a 34.
“It was tiring and I just got off to a tough start,” Bard said. “I will just try to play solid and put consistent scores up and be there for my team.”
Bard hopes to work his way into top form when he heads off to play at Division I Penn State University next fall. He will put plenty of focus on his short game.
“I just have to get better,” Bard said. “I need to make sure by August I’m a lot better than I am now. I just think from 100 yards and in is where you can make a great score or can help salvage a round where you’re not hitting it great.”
The Spartans now are just 16 match wins from tying the New York State record of 92, held by Skaneateles (1987-91).
“We always set team goals and this year is to get to 89,” Snizek said of going unbeaten this season and getting to within of four of breaking the record. “They are very hungry and love the streak, and are excited to keep it going.”
The Spartans, who have also won five straight sectional and TVL titles, haven’t lost a match since their 2011 opener at Camden. That match was the first for Dreimiller and Bard, who were in seventh grade and haven’t lost since.
During this incredible stretch, they have been part of all five league and five sectional titles. Adding a sixth is another huge goal.
“We are trying to go out with a bang,” said Dreimiller, who is also a Division I recruit and will play for St. Bonaventure in the fall. “We don’t want to lose a match. It’s really a special thing to be a part of. We have really been part of history.”
First-year head coach Ryan McQueen, who took over for Whitesboro’s longtime coach Gene Kaczor, is excited for the future of the program. Rich is the lone senior among Whitesboro’s starters. In addition to Rich, the Warriors start four sophomores (Jake Domagal, Sam DePasquale, Sean Scarafile and Mike Coriale) and a seventh grader (Joe DePasquale).
“They are a good team and have experience,” McQueen said of New Hartford. “They’ve played a lot of matches like this. It’s a stepping stone and learning experience for us. We’ll just look at how we played and build off it. It’s a great bunch of kids. I’m definitely excited to be growing with them and really enjoy working with them.”
Rich was disappointed in his short game Friday and said it held him back from posting a much better number.
“My putting hurt me,” Rich said. “I missed two within three feet and had an eagle putt from 15 feet on No. 9 and walked away with a par. I struck the ball well. I’ll just have to take it as a learning experience.”
While the future should be bright for the Warriors, Rich is focused on making the most out of his senior season.
“We’ll take it one match at a time,” said Rich, who will attend St. John’s University next fall and attempt to make the team as a walk on. “We have Rome next. We’ll worry about New Hartford in the future, but right now we’ll worry about Rome.”
New Hartford 187, Whitesboro 201
at Hidden Valley, par 35
New Hartford (3-0): Alec Bard 34, Matt Dreimiller 36, Ryan Zogby 37, Michael Mandel 40, Scott Mundorff 40.
Whitesboro (2-1): Alex Rich 38, Sean Scarafile 40, Jake Domagal 41, Sam DePasquale 41, Mike Coriale 41.