Top two scorers graduate from Falcon golf team
Covid-19 has delayed the start of the Lehigh Valley’s fall sports season. Football will be pushed back about a month from the regular start date. And the scene will look different from in past years.
But for Falcon golf team head coach, the season began on time and will look pretty much like normal compared to other sports this fall.
Golf is a sport largely competed on an individual basis, and there is not a crowd of spectators in the stands. It will be mainly business as usual for the Falcons this fall, along with a few new precautions and measures.
One thing that will be different, though, is Salisbury’s lineup. Alex Suter, who led the Falcons last season with a scoring average of 78, is one of two main graduates. Tanner Ruth has also graduated after averaging 82 in 2019.
Sutter was impressive at last year’s Colonial League Championships, placing 10th with a round of 82, just four shots off the winner. Ruth shot a 98 at the league meet and was competitive as well.
Suter also advanced to the District 11 Class 2A Golf Championships where he finished tied for seventh place with a round of 92. He was eight strokes shy of qualifying for regionals.
“Covid-19 has not affected us too much,” Laub said. “We are one of the only sports that did not lose any matches. Our season has been compressed, but that is all. We can comply with the new rules and it doesn’t slow match play.”
It is definitely a crammed schedule. During its second week of play this week, Salisbury will play on three consecutive days: Tuesday at Bangor, Wednesday against Wilson and Thursday at Southern Lehigh.
Laub will also be running the show by himself this season. He co-coached the Falcons with Kelly Wetherhold in each of the past two seasons.
Other changes include the large group of newcomers taking the links this fall. Seniors Nick Jewell (85 average) and AJ Linn are both back and expect to place in the top five scorers on a daily basis. Jewell also participated in the Colonial League Championships last season and shot a 96.
The rest of the Falcon golf team is made up of first-year players: seniors Quinn Warmkessel and Phillip Natosi; junior Hunter Rothrock; sophomore Claudia Molina; and freshmen Jake Zellin and Ava Smarch.
“I think we will have a good season,” Laub said. “The kids are enjoying playing and everyone gets along very well. I am looking forward to an enjoyable season.”
Salisbury dropped its season-opener against Pen Argyl (517-538) last week, and then faced a setback against Northwestern (488-506) three days later.
While wins are certainly important and Laub would like to build on last season’s 3-10 record in the Colonial League, he has more to offer about the sport he’s been involved with for years.
“My goals are to teach the kids how to play golf and realize it’s a life-long sport,” Laub said. “To take it seriously, but don’t beat yourself up if you are not playing well. I want them to have fun, enjoy the game and the beautiful scenery.”
Moravian Academy defeated Palmerton for last year’s Colonial League championship. The Lions have won six straight league titles, including their 2019 run that knocked off unbeaten Palmerton. The Blue Bombers, however, would avenge that loss in the District 11 Class 2A tournament.
Salisbury’s next match is set for Wednesday against Wilson at Wedgewood Golf Course.