Boys golf teams celebrate successful seasons

Stefan C. shot a 6-under-par 66 to win the individual title and help his team capture the overall title at the NJISAA State Championships on  May 16. (Photo courtesy of Jim Inverso)
Stefan C. shot a 6-under-par 66 to win the individual title and help his team capture the overall title at the NJISAA State Championships on May 16. (Photo courtesy of Jim Inverso)
By Michael Peters
Staff Writer

The boys varsity and JV golf teams’ combined 15-1 record in dual-match play speaks for itself, while the varsity team’s success in tournament-play is equally impressive.

In addition to finishing the regular season with a perfect 10-0 record, the varsity squad dominated the competition in its three end-of-season tournaments, winning the Mercer County Tournament at Mercer Oaks on May 7, the MAPL Championships at the Peddie Golf Course on May 11 and the NJISAA Prep A State Championships, where the team shot a tournament record four-player score of 286 at its home course on May 16.

Stefan Cygan ’13 took the individual title with an impressive 6-under-par 66, while teammates Max Greyserman ’13 (73, third place), Curren Mody ’15 (73, fourth place) and Kyle Sterbinsky ’15 (74) helped the team finish at two under par, 19 strokes ahead of the next team.

“I missed only two greens and left myself good looks for birdie. The putts kept falling and I got on a roll on the back nine,” Cygan said. “I’m going to miss these guys next year, but I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the season.”

“They have been working hard all season, and it really came together,” Head coach Ben Bickford said. “It is a testament to their hard work and determination, and it was a great way for our seniors to end their Peddie career.”

The varsity golfers also won the MAPL Championship with a score of 216, marking their fifth league championship in the last seven years. In addition, Falcon pairs took home the top three medals, with Greyserman/Sterbinsky claiming first place (70), Dylan Lloyd ’16/Ryan Crowe ’13 taking second (72) and Cygan/Mody finishing third.

At the county tournament, the Falcons won by 14 strokes with a 303, the second lowest score ever. Kyle Sterbinsky ’15 won the individual championship in a sudden death playoff, shooting a 73. Greyserman came in fourth place, just one stroke off of Sterbinsky’s score (74), while Cygan shot a 76 for sixth place.

Furthermore, the Falcons kept control of the Leibovit Cup for an unprecedented seventh time as they defeated Lawrenceville in two dual matches by an average of almost 20 points. Peddie also performed well in the Garden State Cup, finishing second to Bergen Catholic, and in the Swing Against Cancer tournament, coming in second behind Hunterdon Central.

Not to be overshadowed by the varsity squad, the JV golfers finished with an exceptional 5-1 record despite losing seven of its top nine players from 2012.

The team’s only loss came to Lawrenceville, but the Falcons split the season series with their MAPL rival by narrowly winning their season opener against Lawrenceville 238-237.

“As a team, especially for a rebuilding year, we produced some good results and showed some fine promise for the future with a strong collection of freshmen,” head coach Eric Gustavson said.

In the end-of-year JV Invitational at Lawrenceville, Jesse Zhou ’16 and Jason Meisner ’16 tied for third place out of 33 players with a score of 43. Both players also lead the team in scoring during the season. Zhou averaged 45.0 and Meisner averaged a 45.4.

Other regulars included Brett Clancy ’14, Connor Cruz ’16 Kenny Griffin ’14, Jason Kim ’14, Colby Saxton ’15 and Matt Spring ’14, who had overall averages ranging from 47.3 to 49.3.

The team improved tremendously over the year, scoring a season-best 214 in their final match against Hun. Along with the team’s play, the team’s chemistry also improved over the length of the season.

“Throughout the season, our team really grew as a unit and got along very well,” Meisner said.

While both teams experienced tremendous success on the links, they also focused on more important issues.

“This season was about more than just low scores,” Bickford said. “Working together with the Girls and JV teams, the Peddie Golf Program created the first annual Swing Against Cancer Peddie Invitational Tournament. This year, the teams and community raised over $10,000 for Coaches versus Cancer and continued a tradition of service that will remain long after they have graduated.”