It's a phrase that should send shivers down the spines of golf coaches island wide.
"We're just as good."
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John Berardi's Farmingdale squad returns this season . . . yes, just as good as the team that took the Long Island championship last year, and the team's top golfer, senior Matt Lowe, may be better than ever.
Lowe, the three-time Nassau champion, returns after having won the Long Island Amateur in June. If that wasn't enough, there are two of him. Well, sort of. Sister Alix, now a junior, has grown in consistency and will be a solid No. 3 behind senior Kyle Brey.
Massapequa, a top-heavy crew led by Bobby Honeyman, Steve DePasquale, Paul Costas and Mike Flavoni hope to have what it takes to knock off the Dalers, having split the Conference IV title with them two years running.
In Conference V, Chris Yeom, who finished second in the Nassau state qualifier, leads a potent Sewanhaka District squad, which looks to challenge South Side. Sewanhaka's senior captain, James O'Hara, also has improved. For Garden City, Jonathan Granville, Joe Plaut and Jack Kasler will make an impact. Drew Bader leads Oceanside.
Cold Spring Harbor is the team to beat in Conference VI, behind Chris Gabriele, third place in the state qualifier. Senior Jesse Koreen will be a solid No. 2. They'll be challenged by Roslyn, which returns five starters: Ben Mitchell, Alex Klausner, Daniel Zhu, Alec Weiss, and Matthew Hirsch. East Meadow (Ryan Wallstedt) is a dark horse in the league.
Coming off an undefeated season in Suffolk League III and a first-place finish in the state qualifier, Huntington, led by Justin Loturco, seems primed to defend its crown. Jim Smoot and Thomas Waldron ensure the team is deep and dangerous. They'll be challenged by Half Hollow Hills East, which returns team captain Jake Just, as well as Kyle Heller, Dan Lobo and Mike Mincone. West Islip is led by Ray Scherer.
Sayville has one of the strongest golfers in the county in Kyle Burke, who helps put the team over the top in League IV. The squad is rounded out by all-league Michael Nadeau, Ryan O'Mara and Brendan Haselton.
After notching their 48th straight victory at the end of last season, the Ward Melville Patriots show no signs of stopping behind Gerry Mackedon and Jack Feraci in League V. Longwood (Pat Standard) hopes to challenge.
Conference VI champs Eastport-South Manor has five returning starters, including Kyle Tillinghast, Joey Busiello and Trevor Halye. Mattituck returns all-leaguers Richie Corazzini, Eric Olsen and Brad Tyler.
In League VIII, Southampton is strong with Matt Kreymborg and Christian Oakley.