CLAYVILLE – The Whitesboro golf team has been waiting for this moment their entire high school golf careers.
On a brisk Friday afternoon at Cedar Lake Club, it finally happened.
Led by senior Jake Domagal’s match-best 38, and backed by a balanced attack, the Warriors ended rival New Hartford’s state-record 115-match win streak. Sean Scarafile and Sam DePasquale – both seniors — gutted out 6-over-par rounds of 42, while David Daniels (43) and Joe DePasquale (45) held it together enough for the Warriors (7-1) to get one of its biggest wins.
Scarafile had never defeated New Hartford since joining the varsity golf program as a seventh grader in 2013. Domagal also has been on the other side of the scorecards against the Spartans since eighth grade and was ecstatic to finally get over the hump against New Hartford.
“Anytime it’s Whitesboro vs. New Hartford, no matter what sport, it’s always a battle,” Domagal said. “It’s great to beat them. It was the last time I’m going to play them in any sport, and being the last time, makes it even better.”
Senior Jack Angelucci led the Spartans (9-1) with a 40. Jack Darby shot a 41 and Mandel had a 42 for the Spartans.
The blustery weather Friday made scoring on the tight layout a tough task. Usually it’s the Spartans who thrive in those conditions, but Friday, the Warriors fought for every stroke, which is critical when it’s difficult to tell where the teams stand until the match is finished.
For instance, Domagal managed to fight for a bogey six on the par-5 third after hooking his first drive out of bounds. Not getting down and bouncing back from bad shots can be the difference in a team win or a close loss.
As each group came in, the Warriors grew more confident. Scarafile and Joe DePasquale were down two strokes after they finished their round with Mandel and Petell. However, the Warriors made that up and more as Domagal and Daniels finished five strokes ahead of Angelucci and Scott Mundorff.
Leading by three strokes with just one group remaining, the Warriors received the score they needed as Sam DePasquale posted a 42 and New Hartford’s best was Darby’s 41.
“It means a lot to finally get it done,” said Scarafile, who has been on the never defeated the Spartans in six seasons.
Admittedly, some of those losses were extremely difficult to take, including New Hartford’s 184-193 victory over the Warriors earlier this season.
“Each year I’ve been on the team since seventh grade, our only losses, aside from one match to Notre Dame, came against New Hartford. The last couple of matches against them we thought we had a shot and lost close matches all three times. Those hurt for a couple of days. Today it wasn’t an advantage to play at their home course, but we were able to finally get it done.”
Having come close, but not getting the desired results, McQueen and his captains came up with a change in strategy. Instead of front-loading their lineup, the Warriors split up their three best players – Scarafile, Domagal and Sam DePasquale.
“This is basically the match we’ve been preparing for since we lost to them at home,” Scarafile said. “We switched up our lineup with our top three players each playing in one of the groups. I think that helped us get it done.”
McQueen gave the credit to his captains.
“That was the idea of our two captains, Jake and Sean,” McQueen said. “I’ve been thinking how to change things up because we’ve been doing same thing and it hasn’t worked out. It’s nice to have that senior leadership. They came to me on Monday and told me they had an idea. I told them I had the same idea, so let’s go and get it done. The change has those guys helping our younger players and encouraging them to stay with it and building up their confidence.”
Mandel and Mundorff have been on the team since seventh grade, and amazingly, this was the first defeat of their careers. Going through six varsity seasons without a loss is hard to imagine, and the New Hartford duo came within a few matches of accomplishing that incredible feat.
“It’s amazing what we accomplished,” Mandel said. “I tried not to think about it, but it had to happen sometime. I just was hoping I wasn’t part of it when it ended. If it’s going to be anybody … I have a couple of friends on their team, so I’m glad for them.”
New Hartford’s last loss came in the 2011 season-opener at Camden. Since then, they’ve conquered every opponent and surpassed Skaneateles’ previous mark of 92 with last season’s victory over Vernon-Verona-Sherrill. Nearly a month later, the Spartans surpassed the century milestone with a dual-match sweep of Proctor and Camden.
After the loss, the Spartans showed character and handled the defeat with class.
“I have to give kudos to New Hartford,” McQueen said. “They showed the utmost respect. Each kid on their team came up to me after the match and shook my hand and said congratulations coach.”
Getting to 115 is something New Hartford head coach Tom Snizek never set out to accomplish. Gaining that type of mark takes leadership, talent and endless hours of hard work.
“It’s a flood of emotions right now,” Snizek said. “You want to continue to win, but I’ve said it from Day 1 when the whole thing started, if anyone would beat us I’m glad it was a class act like Ryan McQueen and Whitesboro. Jake (Domagal) is member at Crystal Springs (Snizek’s course) and I’m glad it was them.”
The Spartans have won a sectional title in 10 of Snizek’s 11 seasons, including eight straight. Now the Spartans have another streak to continue.
“It’s been phenomenal to set a state record of 115 wins,” Snizek said. … I can’t say enough about the kids I’ve coached over the last eight years that were able to get to 115 wins. It has nothing to do with coaching. It has to do with the kids’ commitment. Playing and winning in snow and rain. That’s dedication, and I couldn’t be prouder of the kids I’ve coached. Winning 115 straight is secondary to the class they showed today and being humble losers.”
Domagal is amazed at the streak New Hartford put together.
“That’s insane,” Domagal said. “They have players playing pro and several Division 1 golfers. Every year they pump out college players and that makes them tough to beat. We have a good group of guys that can all play and are competitive. Today we did enough to get the win.”
McQueen felt this squad was talented enough to challenge the Spartans. It just came down to getting his team to fully believe.
“We had six seniors and I knew they were going to be a weathered group with experience,” McQueen said. “I knew physically we were capable, my goal was to get them so they were mentally capable. I’m ecstatic for them.”
Whitesboro 210, New Hartford 212
at Cedar Lake Club, Par 36
Whitesboro (7-1): Jake Domagal 38, Sean Scarafile 42, Sam DePasquale 42, David Daniels 43, Joe DePasquale 45.
New Hartford (9-1): Jack Angelucci 40, Jack Darby 41, Mike Mandel 42, Ben Petell 43, Scott Mundorff 46.