The Hornets won seven matches last year in the rugged Lackawanna League and appear poised to improve on that number this fall in Northern Division action.
Coming off yet another solid season in the Lackawanna League golf wars, Honesdale’s main goal this fall is to take it all to the next level.
Under the direction of veteran Coach Dan O’Neill, the Hornets posted a 7-3-1 record last year, finishing 4th overall in the Northern Division standings.
This mark earned the Red & Black a berth in the playoffs, where they advanced to the quarterfinals before being eliminated. Honesdale defeated Holy Cross (61/2-21/2) in the first round, then lost to Abington Heights (7-2).
Coach O’Neill believes that this year’s edition of the team will feature an interesting blend of veterans and youngsters...a combination that should make another playoff run highly likely.
“I think the schedule sets up very nicely for us,”?he said. “Two of our toughest matches don’t come until later in the season. We have to play Lakeland and Montrose on the road, but the fact that they’re later in the seson gives us a chance to solidify our line-up a little bit.
"We have the potential to be a very good team this year.”
Honesdale will be back on the links next Tuesday against Mountain View. That match is slated for a 4:00 p.m. start at HGC.
The Hornets opened up their campaign with a strong showing at the Jackman Tournament.
This event is the traditional season-opener for Lackawanna League teams. It took place Friday morning at Scranton Municipal.
Coach O’Neill’s squad battled its way to an 8th place finish in a strong field of 21 schools.
The local lads posted a team score of 333, one shot better than archrival Wallenpaupack Area (334) and just seven behind perennial Northern Division powerhouse Montrose (326).
Mike Kussoff and Dillon Gavin, two of the team’s three captains, led the way for Honesdale.
Kussoff opened with a 38, then posted a sizzling 35 on the back nine for an 18-hole total of 73. That score tied Mike for third in the standings...just one shot out of a playoff for the individual championship.
Abington’s Dalton Coldwater carded a 72 and defeated Corey Palma of Old Forge on the first playoff hole to cop the crown.
Kenny Sames of North Pocono wound up tied with Kussoff at 73.
Gavin turned in a solid score of 80, while Owen Walsh (88)?and Eric Fritz (92)?rounded out the Red & Black scoring.
Bridget Simons, the third of Honesdale’s triumvirate of captains, played Tuesday in the girls’ Jackman and recorded a Top 10 finish.
Another senior with a great deal of varsity experience, Simons shot 87 and wound up 5th in the overall standings.
“Our three captains are already providing us with a great deal of leadership,”?said Coach O’Neill. “Mike, Dillon and Bridget are always positive. They lead by example...they’re out there every day working hard and playing golf the way it should be played.”
Tim Corcoran and Fritz are also seniors and Coach O’Neill expects them to make significant contributions this fall.
“Tim and Eric are getting better all the time,”?he said. “I?expect both of them to get stronger as the season goes on and to solidify the middle of our line-up.”
Sophomore Alex Sandercock and junior John Stephens are also in the mix for starting spots.
“They’re both very close,”?said Coach O’Neill. “I?really wouldn’t be surprised to see either one of them in the line-up sooner or later.”
One of the nicest surprises of the young season has been the the emergence of Owen Walsh.
Just a freshman, Walsh turned heads at the Jackman Tournament with his solid all-round play.
Owen opened with a 45 on Muni’s front nine, then followed that up with a 43 on the back. Walsh’s 18-hole total of 88 had him in contention for Low Freshman honors until late in the day.
Carbondale Area’s Chris Cerminaro pulled away in the final few holes, shooting 80 en route to the individual frosh title.
“Owen shows tremendous poise for a freshman,”?said Coach O’Neill. “He’s not intimidated at all despite his youth and inexperience. I’m looking for big things from Owen this year.”
Walsh helped his team to its first Lackawanna League victory of the season Monday. Owen hammered out a 4&3 decision over Matt Lukeski as Honesdale cruised to a 71/2-11/2 win over Western Wayne at HGC.
Kussoff and Gavin led the charge in the Hornets’ Northern Dvision opener.
Mike fired a 1-over par 36, good for a share of the day’s medalist honors and a 4&2 win over the Wildcats’ Bobby Dyer.
Dillon also carded a 36 and rolled to a 3&2 victory over Mike Valvano.
Simons dominated her individual match, cruising to a 4&3 win against Evan Munley.
Corcoran closed out the team scoring with a 4&3 decision over Matt Howe.
Western Wayne’s one full point came courtesy of Kevin Karabin, who snared a share of medalist honors by carding a 36.