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Chaminade boys golf wins CHSAA team title

Ken Doyle of Chaminade tees off on Hole

Ken Doyle of Chaminade tees off on Hole 17 of Eisenhower Park's Red Course during the NSCHSAA varsity boys golf championship on May 20, 2014. (Credit: James Escher)

Chaminade is CHSAA boys golf champion again.

The Flyers completed the program's second straight unbeaten season, going 12-0 in league play and 13-0 overall. It is also the team's sixth league title in seven years.

Chaminade also captured the league postseason title with a victory in Tuesday's CHSAA championships.

"The whole team just came together and played well to take home the championship," said senior Chris Van Praag, who shot a 76 to finish third in the league individually. "All the guys made it fun the entire year. There was good competition among teammates and it transferred over to matches."

The only Flyer who shot better than Van Praag Tuesday was freshman Michael Brennan, who shot a 75 to come in second. "I'd never played high school golf before [this season]," Brennan said. "To walk into Chaminade with such great senior leadership helped me come along as a player. It's great."

One of those seniors, Kenny Doyle, said it was "important" that the team closed out the season with a championship. "That was our goal and we all knew we could do it," he said. "We came in with a very strong team this year."

The victory Tuesday ended coach Joe Horan's first year as a coach on a high note.

"I was very proud of the way the boys played today and the way they played all year," Horan said. "It's a tremendous group of kids and it's the 'Chaminade way.' We strive to do our best in every effort and with tremendous sportsmanship, great determination and great perseverance. I couldn't be prouder of this group of kids."

"I'm really excited about the team, and the seniors did a great job in leading us this year," said junior Nick Dimaio.

In terms of great moments in the season, a number of Flyers pointed to the team's victory over St. Anthony's on May 13, where a birdie put from senior Matt DiConza on a playoff hole preserved the team's unbeaten streak.

"It was a fun time to play on that hole," said DiConza said, who also gave credit to sophomore teammate Joe Saphia, who birdied to force the playoff. On the season as a whole, DiConza said it "was definitely our goal" to win the league title. "It was fun, with the high expectations, to get the job done."

Said Saphia: "It's great to get to learn from all the inspirational seniors."

"It was a great season, the team played really well and I was really happy to be the part of it," said Louis Restivo, who went 9-0 during the season.

First-year senior player C.J. Mahler said he just wanted to do "whatever he could to contribute. Now we're here."

With a talented group of players and storied history, it's safe to say Chaminade golf is not only "here," but also not going anywhere.

Tags: CHSAA , golf , Chaminade