Welcome back, Maryvale.
The Flyers, without a golf team since 1988, have rejoined the ECIC as members of the Central Division, bringing the number of schools with teams to 22.
Ron Hefner, who was also the coach in 1988, has a squad of 25 boys.
"There's a great rebirth of golf here. It's so great to see the enthusiasm of the students in golf," he said.
The 1998 golf season is in full swing with matches being played in the ECIC, Niagara Frontier League, Niagara-Orleans and Msgr. Martin Association. Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties compete in the spring with the sectionals for all leagues scheduled for May.
The ECIC scoop
Williamsville East is coming off a season in which it won the ECIC team championship. The Flames return seniors Kurt Vandemark and Eric Bouskill, who were co-medalists at last year's ECIC Tournament. Junior Will Lewis has improved his game considerably over the summer.
Junior Jon Kropski of Williamsville North spent his summer playing on the area's elite travel teams. . . . The ECIC Tournament is Oct. 6 at Brookfield Country Club with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start. . . . Tonawanda has the brother combination of Keith and Cory Lindner. . . . The defending ECIC champions are Williamsville East in the North, Hamburg and Orchard Park in the South and Iroquois and West Seneca West in the Central. . . . Frontier's Mario Ferrentino had a hole-in-one on Sept. 15 on Springville CC's 136-yard 8th hole with a 9-iron.
State competitors return
Five golfers are back from last year's Section VI team that finished eighth at the state meet at Cornell University.
Returning are seniors Dan DePasquale (Orchard Park), Matt Munson (Chautauqua Lake), juniors Bryan Mika (Sweet Home) and John Edwards (Grand Island), sophomore Jay Lindell (Southwestern) and alternate Dave Petronik, a freshman at Orchard Park.
DePasquale was runner-up at the Section VI State Qualifier last year at Gowanda CC, finishing three strokes behind Frank Garcia (Lewiston-Porter/Niagara University). Between his sophomore and junior years, DePasquale finished second at the NYS Junior Championship. Orchard Park freshman Matt Thomas has lineage on his side as his father, Dave, is the club pro at Springville.
Around the leagues
Nichols, last year's Niagara Frontier League champion, returns seven players, including its No. 1 player from the last three years, senior Kyle Hess. Hess was the only undefeated player in the NFL last year. Grand Island will challenge with its starting six mostly intact. Matt Bradshaw (Lew-Port) and Jay Robbins (Kenmore East) are the new coaches in the NFL. . . . The top two golfers in the Msgr. Martin Association return. Mark Nihill of Canisius and Tim Smith of St. Francis finished 1-2 in last year's All-Catholic Tournament at Elma Meadows. . . . Starpoint won the Niagara-Orleans League last year. Among the N-O's top returnees are senior Mark Leising (Newfane) and Medina sophomores Tom Hungerford and Scott Colonna. . . . The Park School joins the Msgr. Martin Association for golf.