WHITESBORO — The New Hartford Spartans have a young golf team.
That youth and match inexperience hasn’t stopped them from winning every match this season as the Spartans completed the sweep of rival Whitesboro 202-218 on a rainy and cool Tuesday at Hidden Valley Golf Club.
Senior Fox Humphrey and freshman Jack Darby led the way for New Hartford, posting matching 37s. Jake Martyniuk finished with a 42, while Ben Petell and Joe Puccio closed out the scoring with 43s for the Spartans (10-0).
Whitesboro (3-3) was led by sophomore Joe DePasquale’s 38. Sam Schoen carded a 42 and David Daniels had a 44 to go along with a trio of 47s by Mike Coriale, John Schoen and Colin Webb.
“Overall, I felt like I played pretty good,” Humphrey said. “I’ve been in a slump lately and I chipped in (for par) on (No. 11), and it turned things around for me the rest of the day.”
Humphrey also added birdies on the 16th and 18th, both par-4s. Meanwhile Darby got out of trouble and managed to salvage a key par after hitting his drive into the hazard on the par-5 15th.
“I put the ball in the creek on 15 and ended up making par,” Darby said. “I thought (my round) was pretty solid with the conditions, which were not ideal.”
The Warriors stayed close early in the match as DePasquale posted a solid round that is right on this season’s average.
“I struggled in the beginning, but birdied 16 and had a bunch of pars,” DePasquale said. “My goal individually this season is to look to make the state tournament. For the team, I hope to help the young players out with getting better as they get match experience.”
DePasquale was part of last-season’s senior-heavy Whitesboro team that snapped New Hartford’s state-record mark of 115 consecutive match victories. Spartans head coach Tom Snizek’s squad was able to rebound and win a 9th straight Section 3 title a few weeks later, and now are off to a perfect start this season with their focus on getting No. 10.
“We always set our sights on the league championship and sectional titles,” Snizek said. “And going after 10 would be nice, because after getting beat by (Whitesboro) last year to snap our streak, doing 10 in a row will help ease some of the pain of what happened last year.”
Humphrey and Petell are New Hartford’s lone seniors. Humphrey has taken on a leadership role, but tries to simplify his approach.
“I would say a little bit,” Humphrey said of feeling added pressure to lead the team. “But, at the end of the day, if you go out and play your game, everything works out in the end.”
Darby is one of the young stars Snizek will rely on to continue New Hartford’s incredible run of success.
“I think looking into the future, Jack is going to be that guy,” Snizek said. “We also have several other strong young players that can lead us into the future.”
Darby is looking no further than this season’s goals.
“Our goal as a team is to repeat and win the sectional title again, and we definitely have a good enough team to do it,” Darby said.
The Warriors are also extremely inexperienced and don’t yet have the depth they need to consistently beat the top teams like RFA and New Hartford. However, they do have plenty of talented young players who are gaining valuable match experience and have showed progress.
“Last year we had eight seniors, but I think you don’t want to call it a rebuilding year … more of a re-tooling year,” McQueen said. “Getting a lot of match experiences for the younger kids is kind of where we are this year.
“I’m content with the way they played today. Last time we lost to them by 25 and this time 16, so that’s a slight improvement. I think if we can build off it, is kind of what we’re looking for throughout the rest of the season.”
Whitesboro is back in action Wednesday with a road match against Camden at McConnellsville Golf Course.
The road doesn’t get any easier for the Spartans, who host Central Valley Friday, before a much-anticipated showdown with Rome Free Academy on Monday at Yahnundasis Golf Club. The Spartans just edged the Black Knights 212-213 during the first meeting as Petell led the way with a 36. RFA has just one league loss and still has a chance at the Tri Valley League title.
“As for this year, I still think Rome is the team to beat,” Snizek said. “I think we got a bit lucky in Rome when we beat them.”
New Hartford 202, Whitesboro 218
at Hidden Valley, Par 36
New Hartford (10-0): Fox Humphrey 37, Jack Darby 37, Jake Martyniuk 42, Ben Petell 43, Joe Puccio 43.
Whitesboro (3-3): Joe DePasquale 38, Sam Schoen 42, David Daniels 44, Mike Coriale 47, John Schoen 47, Colin Webb 47.
Nick Sardina is a writer for midyorksportsreport.com. Follow Nick onTwitter @nsardinamysr or on Facebook. Contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org