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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, October 14, 2010

BKW golf team wins third straight league title

By Jordan J. Michael

BERNE –– The third time really is the charm.

The Berne-Knox-Westerlo golf team won its third consecutive Western Athletic Conference championship this season after going 13-2. The Bulldogs won the title in the two previous years with records of 16-1 and 16-0 and the team’s overall record for the last five seasons is 76-10.

“We’ve been doing OK, yes,” said Head Coach Don Dennis, who gives a lot of the credit to the Iron Works Golf Course in Duanesburg. The steady cycle of BKW players have practiced and learned the game at Iron Works for the past eight years.

David Schaefer, who built the course himself on his land in Duanesburg, lets the BKW team practice there for free.

Last Thursday, the Bulldogs gathered at Iron Works for an end-of-season celebration. The players received their championship trophies, played a round, and enjoyed pizza and wings.

“I thought this was going to be a rebuilding year of sorts,” said Dennis, who lost his top three players from 2009. “I thought we would struggle a little, but we won a lot of close matches.”

The Bulldogs split two matches against Schoharie, which secured the WAC title. “Kids kept stepping it up,” Dennis said. “We had new heroes every day.”

Sophomore Connor McDermott, who Dennis named Rookie of the Year last Thursday, had an excellent record of 28-2 in 15 matches. Senior Ethan Sharp, who was BKW’s number one, was named the Most Valuable Player with a record of 14 ½ and 15 ½.

A golfer has 30 possible points in a 15-match season with match and medal play. Medal play is for total strokes and match play is a hole-by-hole score. “Two players could have the same total score at the end of a match,” said Dennis. “But, one of them won more individual holes.”

“Sharp had to go against everyone’s top player,” Dennis said. Sharp, who has been on the team for four seasons, holds the BKW record for most wins in a row with 27. “He kept it close and helped us out,” said Dennis.

The other senior, Joey Kalina, is called the “missing piece,” according to Dennis. Kalina had a 40-14 record over the last two seasons. “He was a gift to the team,” Dennis said.

Sharp and Kalina competed in sectional play at the Schenectady Municipal Golf Course on Oct. 6, but the awful wet weather disrupted their games. “They were disappointed by their play that day,” said Dennis. “They tried a little too much.”

Junior Matt Casullo had a 23 ½ and 4 ½ record, sophomore Kyle Gibbs went 18-6, sophomore Zach Rebeor went 17-1, and sophomore Hunter Fortuin finished with an 11 ½ and ½ record. Sharp and Gibbs each shot a 39 to share the Bulldogs’ lowest score of the year.

Fortuin is participating in the Tech Valley program, so he had to meet up with the rest of the team in order to play. “He really wanted to be there for us,” said Dennis. “Much thanks to his parents for driving him in.”

Next year, Casullo, Fortuin, Gibbs, McDermott, Rebeor; sophomore Anthony Pasquini; and freshmen Cory DePeaux, Taylor O’Connor, and Chris North will be back swinging the clubs.

Another repeat championship is not out of reach for BKW.

“We’re going to try for another title, but these kids need to play during the summer,” Dennis said. “If they prepare, then they all could be fighting for the top spot. We’ll have a fair chance, but so will other teams. It’s whoever plays the hardest.”

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