By Kathryn Kwapniewski, Staff Writer, and Diana Bilotta, Sports Editor
This spring the school athletics program added golf and crew to its line-up under the leadership of head golf coach Bernie Kosinski and head crew coach Megan Belford.
With many newcomers to the sport, the 12 golfers have showed determination, eagerness and patience to learn the basics and skills of golf. “When we first began, very few of us were skilled when it came to playing golf. But [Coach] Kosinski really helped us in becoming better players,” freshman Jackie Fletcher said.
From week to week, their skills and comfort level have grown immensely. “The girls have become more comfortable…It’s a learning experience and one needs to get the feeling of playing golf,” Kosinski said.
On April 18, freshmen Colleen Egan and Jacqueline Munro participated in the Lawrenceville Invitational Tournament. “It was my first tournament, and I was so nervous. It was a great experience though because I got my first high school match under my belt,” Egan said.
The golfers had their first team match on May 4 at Navesink Country Club against the Howell High School varsity team. Freshmen Madeline Earle, Egan, Olivia DeNicola and Munro played well considering it was the first match for some of them.
“It has been a great experience coaching an all-girls team. They are enthusiastic and willing to learn,” said Kosinski, who sees the team competing with other competitive high schools as the athletes and the program continues to grow.
For now, Fletcher expressed excitement over one major accomplishment this season: “Each and every one of us can now confidently play nine holes of golf!”
The golfers could certainly empathize with the crew team’s mixed feelings of uncertainty and excitement as it launched its inaugural season.
Although they do not participate in competitions, the crew team trains as if they do, using Christian Brothers Academy’s crew facility, which has rowing machines and tanks. Due to conflicts in schedules, the team has yet to practice on the water this season but they have been making up for it through strength and conditioning on campus.
“Participating in crew helped me with strengthening, and training on those machines at CBA, and is unlike any other training I’ve ever had,” sophomore Mackenzie Knox said.
Head coach Belford is pleased with the commitment the girls have made this year and optimistic about adding competitions to next season’s schedule. “As long as we are able to get on the water, I am confident we will be able to complete. As of right now, we are increasing our endurance. Next year we will need to focus on technique,” Belford said.
Freshman Gretchen Richardson, who has experience rowing with Navesink Rowing, is also hopeful for the future of the program. “The progress we have made so far shows that we will definitely be able to participate in regattas next year. Hopefully we will have even more success and expand our crew season to the fall as well.”