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High School Boys Golf Preview: Chaminade will be tough again

Chaminade’s seven Catholic League golf titles in eight years are impressive in their own right.

The Flyers’ success looks even better considering the quality of its competition, and the league title race looks to be tight again this year.

“I’m proud to compete in the league and we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished as a school,” said Joe Horan, who is entering his third year as Chaminade’s coach.

Horan said that this season the league “could go any way,” and that over the course of Chaminade’s run, “we’ve had several matches that have come down to the last player, and a putt on the ninth.”

“There are so many great players in the league,” the coach said. “Every team has at least one or two really talented players,” adding what has set Chaminade apart is its depth.

Angelo Bonvino will be the Flyers’ No. 1 player this year, after finishing in fifth in the league individual tournament last season. “He works hard at the game, and he has a keen desire to get better,” Horan said of the sophomore.

Bonvino will be backed up by Daniel Shea, who finished one stroke ahead of Bonvino in the league tournament, Tom Pohalsky, Tom Theodoro, Brandon Teixeira and Austin Hill.

As for Chaminade’s competition, St. Anthony’s will look to push the flyers, led by Colin Geier, who finished second in the CHSAA league tournament last season, while Holy Trinity brings back Pat Noonan and St. John the Baptist features Gavin Wojtas.

Reigning Newsday Boys Golfer of the Year Mickey Brennan returns for St. Dominic after finishing third in the State Federation Tournament, and second in the CHSAA state tournament.

Kellenberg will be led by the one-two punch of Santiago Rolon and Ryan Mullaly.

For the public schools, Ward Melville took home the Long Island championship, and will look to repeat in the county team tournament in May. The Patriots, who finished their league season in the fall, won the League VI title in October, led by senior Gerry Mackedon, who shot a 7-under 64 in the league tournament. Mackedon was also the top finisher from Long Island at last season’s public school state tournament, tying for seventh.

Ward Melville will be challenged in the Suffolk tournament by Mike Nadeau-led Sayville and Jim Smoot-led Huntington, who also won their league titles in the fall. Eastport-South Manor can also be a tournament contender, led by 2015 county runner-up Kyle Tillinghast.

Hauppauge and Northport should be the top contenders in the spring leagues, after going 10-0 and 8-1 last season, respectively.

In Nassau, Friends Academy will look to repeat as county champions, led by Cole Vissicchio, who finished in third in the county individual tournament.

“He’s a great course manager and student of the game,” Friends Academy coach Geoff Nelson said of Vissicchio. Nelson added that “we’ve got some young kids stepping into new roles. We feel good about our team but the county is wide open.”

Adam Xiao leads Manhasset, who will challenge Friends Academy in Conference II, while Bellmore JFK is coming off an undefeated season in Conference I.

Garden City won the Conference V title in October, and joins Cold Spring Harbor, Roslyn and South Side among the top fall team contenders in the team tournament in May. South Side junior Ryan McCarthy, who led his conference by averaging less than a stroke over par, was Nassau’s top performer at the 2015 state tournament. He will join Vissicchio among the favorites to win the county individual title.

Golfers to watch

Mickey Brennan

St. Dominic, Jr.

Angelo Bonvino

Chaminade, So.

Andre Chi

Harborfields, So.

Colin Geier

St. Anthony’s, Jr.

Cole Vissicchio

Friends Academy, Sr.

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