The Sparta High School golf program (both the girls and boys teams) shone bright on the course this season.
On the boys side, the Spartans finished with a record of 17-7 while the girls squad tallied an overall record of 11-4 in its first year of varsity competition.
The boys team tied for first place in the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Freedom Division with a 6-2 record.
“The event that really put an exclamation point on the boys season was winning the inaugural Sussex Cup,’’ assistant coach Troy Fetherman said. “The team came together throughout the course of the season and were really playing their best golf at the end. To go up against some really strong teams in Sussex County and come out on top was a great win for the players and the team.
“The girls season was highlighted by a strong showing at this year’s NJAC Tournament, where the team finished fifth.’’
Leaders on the roster helped guide their teammates.
“We were lucky as coaches when it came to motivation and leadership on the team,’’ Fetherman said. “The expectations set by our senior captains (Dylan Barry and Jack Hill) provided the rest of the team an opportunity to grow and compete against one another in a competitive but close-knit way. This allowed some younger students to emerge and contribute during the second half of the season.
“The girls team was fronted by a strong cast of senior players, who have grown the program and leave the program in strong and capable players. Caroline Mastandrea and Courtney Askin (both captains) were members of the team before there was a team. The program has grown to now include nearly 20 players.’’
Hill was one of several golfers who steadily improved during the season.
“Captain Jack Hill was our most improved golfer this season,’’ the coach said. “Through diligent work and dedication, he improved nearly four strokes over last year’s average. In addition, Sawyer Salvigsen became a fixture in the starting lineup as the season progressed.
“The girls team had strong showings from captain Caroline Mastandrea and senior Alexandra Kettle, who both were named First Team All-Conference.’’
The momentum built in 2023 bodes well for the future of the Spartans golf program.
“The team bonding at various ice cream shops in the area contributed to a strong sense of camaraderie,’’ Fetherman said.
“The boys had several players who made great strides during the course of the season. When combined with returning players and promising youngsters, the team is well-situated for the coming season.
“The girls team for next year will see many younger players have an opportunity to grow and develop. Several members who got a chance to contribute this year will be foundational pieces for next year’s team.’’
The boys had several players who made great strides during the course of the season. When combined with returning players and promising youngsters, the team is well-situated for the coming season.” - Troy Fetherman, assistant golf coach, Sparta High School