Golf Team Swings for States at District Finals


Southern Lehigh High School Yearbook Staff

Southern Lehigh Golf players, sophmore Frankie Boensch, freshman Caleb Walsh, sophmore Colin Sarnoski, sophmore David Tervalon, and Wyatt Adams gather between swings at dual match.

Coming off a nearly undefeated season, the Southern Lehigh golf team headed into the Colonial League Championships with their heads held high and minds set on first place. The team wrapped their regular season with a record of 13-1, the best record for Southern Lehigh golf since 2018. With young talent on the greens and the guidance of veteran seniors, the team was ready to fight for their Leagues title. 

Southern Lehigh was seeded second overall in the Colonial League Championships, with Palmerton first. After losing by only a few strokes to Palmerton in the regular season, the team knew they had a shot at first place. Despite their best effort, Moravian Academy snuck up from behind the Spartans and took second place. Although the team as a whole shot the best score in the tournament, the top five players’ whose scores counted towards their ranking finished third. 

“I think we played well, but I know we could have won,” sophomore Maddie Hagens said. “I think it was disappointing, especially for the seniors. So it is kind of a tough loss.” 

The Spartans were shocked at the close point differential between them and Moravian Academy. Although Southern Lehigh did not move on as a team to district competition, Head Coach Matt Greenawald is proud of the supportive dynamic they maintained throughout the season and the opportunity secured to play in leagues. 

“Every stroke is important, but you cannot dwell on bad ones. But yet, you also need to keep in mind that every shot you hit is a stroke and therefore, important,” Coach Greenawald said. “I wish I knew the perfect combination of taking each shot seriously, but also not stressing.” 

With numerous close matches this season, Coach Greenawald hopes to advise his players on how to adjust their mentality for the future. Mental strength proved to be just as important as physical skill as the team dealt with the growing stress of playoffs. 

“I think, naturally, older players do better in the postseason just because they have more experience,” senior Cohen Resch said. “For a lot of players, it was their first time at leagues and that undue pressure on their shoulders doesn’t allow for the best performance.”

With many promising underclassmen on the team, Resch is excited for the success coming their way as they learn to manage the nerves that come with playing the game. 

The results of the league tournament did not mark the end of the season for everyone on the team. District championships include not only team qualifications but also individual opportunities for the top ten qualifiers. Because of this, the Spartans were able to send five of their players to compete in the District XI match, including Hagens and Resch, along with sophomores Frankie Boensch and Colin Sarnoski, and senior Blake Greenawald.

Leading up to districts, Coach Greenwald focused on preparing his players for the competition by familiarizing themselves with the course and developing strategies.

“You know, the goal is to get them prepared as much as possible,” Coach Greenawald said. “We play practice rounds up the course. We talk about how best to manage the course because there’s a lot of course management involved in golf.”

None of the Spartans moved forward to the state competition, but each of them got the chance to experience greater challenges.      

“I think the sophomores that competed learned a valuable lesson and that’s one more year under their belt where they did compete,” Resch said. “Then they have the chance to improve next year and the year following.”

Beyond trophies and titles, Coach Greenawald prioritizes reinforcing the life skills that golf teaches. Unlike many other high school sports, players compete on courses with adults. Coach Greenawald feels that this experience helps his players learn the important skill of professionalism.

“It’s one of the only sports out there, certainly in high school sports, where you actually are your own official,” Coach Greenawald said. “You call your own penalties. You call your own mistakes. You keep track of your own score. So there’s a lot of honesty and integrity.”