Golf team drives toward postseason victory

By Jason Yoffe
Published: October 2009

Preparing for its run at the Dual County League (DCL) title, the Varsity Golf team feels at the peak of its confidence this season, holding first place in the DCL Large Division over Westford.

This year’s team–anchored by senior co-captains Bobby Marulli and Jesse Zorfas, senior Ray Heinrichs, and sophomore Adam Goldstein–is enjoying its second consecutive strong season.

The team’s winning trend began opening day and has continued through the fall.

“We really didn’t have many problems [beating other schools] this year, Coach Mike Flemming said.

From their first match on September 8 up to the match against Weston two weeks later, the Lions boasted an undefeated record.

“This is the best team I have coached in my four years as head coach, Flemming said.

Heinrichs, Marulli, and Zorfas have accumulated the most points on the team this year.

“They practice hard and are dedicated to improving, Flemming said. “All three have the opportunity to play in college.

These top three golfers, whose offseason efforts have propelled them to the DCL elite, inspire the rest of the team to develop similar work ethics. South’s golfers have taken their leaders’ advice and have experienced similar results.

Coach Flemming attributes all match success to the team’s devotion to the sport.

Heinrichs believes the team is now “more lethal than it was during their two weeks without losing.

“Every player has gotten into their own game, he said.

Heinrichs and Goldstein, along with senior Max Jacobson and junior Michael Josephson, have been invaluable, rounding out the school’s four DCL All-Stars.

The Varsity Golf team profits from other advantages as well.

The Newton Commonwealth Golf Course’s unique layout makes the team difficult to beat. The team has the benefit of practicing on its home course daily and is accustomed to its irregularities.

The team was forced to overcome adversity midway through the season when it lost its two best golfers. The following match, they found themselves on the wrong end of a rout, losing their second match of the season to Acton-Boxborough.

Flemming put his team back on track for the season, believing that they were capable of persevering.

“He has brought all the success to this team, Marulli said. “He has so much confidence in us.

The golf team rebounded with an 11-point victory over Waltham, a team that they had beaten by a single point in its first match.

“It is good to know that we can win without two of the best players in the DCL, Marulli said.

Last year the golf team finished the season within the top five in the state tournament, winning the Regional North Sectional Championship and placing fifth out of 20 Division I schools. Marulli is craving another title in his last season as a high school golfer.

“You are sitting in the team’s room and you see the school’s name on top of the leader board and go nuts, he said. “To then see the trophy on display outside of the Field House is an amazing feeling.

Some players are adamant that this year’s team can exceed these high expectations.

“We are much better than last year, Heinrichs said.

Heinrichs, Goldstein, Marulli, and Zorfas competed in the sectional tournament last year, and therefore are familiar with the Beverly Hills Golf and Tennis Club golf course.

The players are not familiar with the state competition, however, as this tournament includes schools from across Massachusetts. The atmosphere is quite different, and the players must shift to Turner Hills Golf Course and adjust to unknown opponents.

The team has not resorted to complacency, though, and looks to finish the regular season stronger than they started.

According to Marulli, the seniors “want to go out strong.

“We are playing not just to advance in the tournament, but also to keep our high school careers alive, he said.

From top to bottom, these golfers have generated a significant amount of momentum heading into the backstretch of the season, a valuable commodity to any playoff-bound team.

“We are playing the best golf of the season right now, Flemming said. “If everyone on the team plays to the best of their ability, we have a chance to be the best team in the state.

The Varsity Golf team is practicing this week in preparation for the sectional tournament on Monday.

“We know what we can do. We know that everyone else knows what we can do, Marulli said. “Now we just have to do it.

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