Golf team finishes 2nd in division

NEWTON. Kittatinny’s overall record was 7-10.

Newton /
| 30 May 2024 | 08:05

Newcomers and experienced players alike contributed to the Kittatinny Regional High School golf team’s success this year.

The team finished with a 7-10 record overall and went 5-2 in the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference’s Colonial Division, placing second after Newton High School, which was undefeated in division play.

“Our two real leaders this year have been Jesse Waldron and George Hanlon,’’ head coach Matt Majka said. “They have very different styles as athletes, but the combination seems to work well. Jesse is very serious and has an incredible work ethic and desire to do well. George really enjoys the game and focuses on having fun, which also translates to good golf.

“They have consistently been our top two scorers and have shown real consistency. Beyond having multiple rounds in the 30s, Jesse’s season highlight was shooting a 76 at the Berkshire Tournament. For George, he has a season-low 41 three times this season. When he misses that number, he is typically off by a stroke or two.’’

Several golfers improved as the season progressed.

“This is really the story of our season,’’ Majka said. “We brought back seven golfers from last year’s team and added nine first-year golfers. Of those nine, five have consistently played in varsity matches throughout the season.

“Players like Brady Strong, Aiden McClain, Dominic Buff, Vinny Falchetta and Michael Lombardo have provided the depth that we needed to maintain our competitiveness. Each of those golfers started the season shooting in the mid- to upper 50s and have dropped down into the 40s. Without their contributions and improvement, it would have been a very different season.’’

The coach recalled some memorable matches.

“The tri-match against Mount Olive and Pope John at Newton Country Club - that was our lowest round to date at a 174. It was also the first time all season that we had four scores in the 40s or below. Since then, we have remained fairly consistent and have played well.’’

The future of the team appears bright.

“I am optimistic about the team’s future,’’ Majka said. “We are graduating three varsity golfers but will have six returning.

“Of those six, half are first-year golfers who have completely fallen in love with the game. I expect that they will continue to play throughout the summer and will continue to improve.’’

The coach said players were looking forward to the post-season Kittatinny Golf Team Pro-Am.

“For our end-of-the-season party, the high school golfers team up with someone, typically a sibling or parent, and play a two-man scramble tournament at Hidden Acres in Sandyston.

“After, we do dinner and our Pro-Am and season awards at the Layton Hotel. This will be the 10-year anniversary of the event, so everyone is fighting to get their names on the plaque.’’

Players like Brady Strong, Aiden McClain, Dominic Buff, Vinny Falchetta and Michael Lombardo have provided the depth that we needed to maintain our competitiveness.”
- Matt Majka, head golf coach,
Kittatinny Regional High School