Usually when a girl’s golf team loses an All-State player it marks a rebuilding year. Although the Berlin girl’s team lost All-Stater Alyssa Scheyd, who is now playing at Division I Lehigh University, Berlin will still be one of the best teams in the CCC Conference and in the state.
Berlin won the state championship last year and will be a favorite again this year, thanks to four experienced players returning as well as a highly touted freshman.
Senior captains Victoria Fagan and Emily Stickel are both back after earning All-State and All-CCC honors last year. Fagan has already committed to play at Long Island University next year and was a New England Tournament qualifier.
Also back are juniors Emily-Anne Deutsch and Caroline D’Attilio, who were All-Conference, and All-CCC Tournament.
Coming into the Redcoats’ line-up this year is reigning Connecticut Women’s Golf Association (CWGA) Junior Amateur champion Julia Kemmling.
“We have very solid leadership with our two Senior All-State Co-Captains, Victoria Fagan and Emily Stickel,” Berlin coach Jim Barnes said. “We are also a very deep team. Our returning number three and four players, Emily-Anne Deutsch and Caroline D’Attilio earned All-Conference honors this past year. We also have two other returning lettermen, Seniors Erika Park and Rachel Zelek. Also exciting is the fact that we have eight new freshmen girls trying out for the team. At least three of these girls show great promise. Julia Kemmling is a star just waiting to take off and both Ashley D’Attilio and Abbie Underwood show tremendous potential.
“I worry about overconfidence. We are still enjoying last year’s State Championship victory. Those scores won’t help us in 2012. We need to get back to work and get better. I really believe if we want to win another State Title we have to improve over last year.
Barnes knows Farmington will be the Redcoats’ biggest threat in both the CCC and state.
“Farmington has potentially the two best players in the state, Jennifer Whaley and her sister, Kelly,” Barnes said. “Jennifer, a senior this year, was the best player in our conference last year. Kelly, just a freshmen, is the reigning Connecticut State Women’s Amateur Champion. The supporting cast to these two big guns is also very capable. This will be a tough team to beat.
The Berlin boys’ golf team won the CCC South Division with a 25-3 record but placed a disappointing ninth at the CIAC Division II state tournament.
This year, Berlin will have to replace four-year standout Kevin Jud, who is playing Division I golf at Central Connecticut now. Also gone from last year are Chris Martino and Brendon Hull.
If Berlin is going to be successful this year it will be by committee. Conor Bowen, Jeremy Desimone and Pat Bostrom all return as three-year
Also back are seniors D.J. Caron and Trafford Underwood.
Berlin will also count on juniors Ryan Marquis and Nick Martino and sophomore Austin Forauer.
Berlin will look to continue the tradition of great golf teams but it may take a while to figure out who will play where in the line-up. Line said he may try different golfers in different spots to see how they respond.
"The team will be balanced, competitive, and eager to do well," said Berlin boys coach John Line. "We will need to develop chemistry and be confident in each other. Kevin Jud is at Central now and we need to learn to win without him. Once we have our confidence we will be fine. There is no clear cut number one or two even a top three players. We may have a different lineup for each match.
"There are at least eight players that will play a varsity match this season and the competition to be in the top five will be fierce. Our team goals are the same as in previous years, how we do it will be different. The greatest challenge for any golfer is consistency, and that is particularly true for this team. If we can find it, we'll be a tough match at the end of the year."