In early April, Sheryl Severance was concerned that her Princeton High boys’ golf team might be in for a long spring.
“Initially, it started off rough,” said longtime PHS head coach Severance. “It was freezing cold and a little windy. We were a little nervous and had some bad scores.”
But as the weather warmed up, the scores have gone down for PHS. “We had a 205 in a win over Hightstown on April 19 and that really helped,” said Severance, whose team was 6-8 coming into this week and has been under 220 in most of its recent matches. “They saw they could play with anyone.”
Junior Laura Burke has proved that she can play with anyone this spring, emerging as PHS’s top performer.
“Last year she was in our top five or six; usually in mid-to-high 40s,” said Severance of Burke, who recently finished second in the girls’ Mercer County Tournament and has qualified for the state girls’ tourney to be held on May 23 at Cherry Valley.
“She is a different player this year. She is very confident; the major difference is that she is not afraid to go against anybody. Her drives are long, right down the middle. Her approaches are accurate and her short game and putting are strong. She has the best average on the team at 40.8.”
Another junior girl, Diane Karloff, has developed into a strong player for the Little Tigers.
“Diane picked up the sport as a freshman; it was golf or tennis and she liked golf,” said Severance.
“She works very hard. She gets lessons constantly and it is practice, practice with her. Sometimes she will ask to go to the driving range during practice. She is very dedicated, she has some great scores recently and she is getting better.”
Freshman Andrew Huang has been getting better and better as the season has unfolded.
“Andrew has fit right in; he is a good kid,” said Severance, whose team was slated to play in the MCT on May 7 before playing at Hightstown on May 8 and hosting Lawrence on May 9.
“I would say that he is pretty straight with his drives and long irons. He needs some tweaking around the green but that comes with experience.”
PHS has drawn strength from the experience that senior Robert Morelli brings to the table.
“Robert is our only senior in the top six; he provides a lot of leadership,” said Severance, who is getting some good contributions from a pair of veterans, juniors John Blair and Paul Murray.
“The kids go to him when they have questions or concerns. He doesn’t say much; he is a quiet leader. He is into it. He knows the scores of the other teams and the other players; he gives us information. He is a little more serious about it. Last year, it was just for fun.”