Golf: Colonels 2nd in Rt. 37 Cup

By Robert Niedzwiecki
The Winchester Star

Winchester — Sherando High School golf coach Rob Wright stepped inside the Rock Harbor dining area Thursday and offered this assessment: “Just trying to keep them under control this week.”

Under the relaxed format of the Route 37 Cup, it can be difficult to keep emotions under wraps. Witness Sherando’s Cory Hammons yelping and tossing a club cover over his head as he walked onto the ninth green, where he proceeded to do a series of arm pumps before putting.

But when it came to the actual golf, Hammons and the Warriors continued their stranglehold on the competition Thursday. Sherando, which entered play with a 19-stroke lead after Wednesday’s alternate shot format, completed a 21-stroke victory by shooting a collective 153 in Thursday’s captain’s choice scoring.

Sherando (184-53-- 337) beat James Wood (203-155--358) and Millbrook (216-170--386) for the title. Warriors coach Rob Wright didn’t use either John Judy or Hunter Strosnider — two of his best — on either day of the competition, but Sherando’s young and less experienced golfers led the way. Freshmen Chris Slater and Anthony Pierro teamed up for a 1-over 37, and Colby Madigan and Alex Snider, two players who usually aren’t in Sherando’s top six, also fired a 37.

“All but two of the golfers we used have played in matches before, but this was a good chance to get them some more experience,” Wright said. “That’s what we were after. And getting a win here before districts gives them a little bit of confidence.”

In addition to clearly enjoying himself out there, Hammons — who teamed up with Tanner Wise to shoot a 38 — enjoyed working with a teammate.

“This brings out the fun in everybody,” said Hammons, a sophomore who originally wasn’t supposed to play but volunteered to step in for a sick teammate. “And you can practice and work on a few things. You can get someone else to read putts if you’re having any difficulties. It makes it easier, and it’s pretty fun.”

Millbrook had two teams shoot a 40 Thursday — Kelly Snider and Zack Shifflett, and Zane Watts and Gus Martin.

Snider, a freshman, said it helped knowing he had a teammate to pick him up.

“If you messed up, you always had someone there,” he said. “I would hit the fairway shots and Zack would hit the putts, and it worked out.”

James Wood’s Nic Cybulski teamed with Patrick Parker to shoot the best score of the day, an even-par 36.

“It’s definitely the most relaxed tournament,” Cybulski said. “You come out here, there’s not as much pressure. It’s a nice change of pace, definitely.”

All agreed the tournament can serve as a good warmup for the Northwestern District tournament, which will begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday at Winchester Country Club. The Colonels, who captured their first regular season district title since 1990, are the only team assured of moving on to the Region II tournament.

“You still get to hit just as many shots [as a regular match],” Cybulski said of Thursday’s format. “You can definitely get in a groove as far as knowing your swing. I know I hit a lot of good shots, and that gives me a lot to build on.”

Despite playing without a couple of its top golfers, Wright said the tournament was a continuation of the Warriors’ recent strong push.

“[Wednesday] surprised us,” Wright said. “That alternate shot, that can really be tough on you. The guys fed off each other.

“For a while we hadn’t been playing well, but we’re playing better as a team right now.”

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