SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD NJ- The Scotch Plains-Fanwood golf team is confident in their ability, but they want to make sure the skill does not get to their head. Third year head coach Ryan Goracy wants the team to let the clubs do the talking.
In 2013, the boys found postseason success beating rival Westfield the last day before the state cut-off to put them into the group three sectional tournament. Even the season seemed to be a lost cause, the boys rallied to win the sectional tournament and propel them into the tournament of champions for the second straight year. Although 2013 seemed like a dream year, the team has higher goals for the 2014 season.
Despite graduating four seniors in 2013, the Raiders lineup in 2014 looks to be as good, if not better, than 2013. Returning starters include Brennan Brady, Jeremy Haas and Connor Smith. Brady was third team all group three in 2013, and Smith was team MVP. Additions to the starting lineup include freshman phenom John Pak, who was New Jersey PGA player of the year in 2013, Tyler Dencker, and Sam Bebout.
Members of the team truly believe that this is their year to shine. “There is a lot of talent on the team, and anyone can shoot a low number on any given day. Our goals are to make it back to the tournament of champions, and win as many matches as possible,” said Haas.
The Raiders schedule includes a lot of tough matches against top teams all around the state. “Matches against Oratory Prep, Westfield, Summit, and almost everyone else in Union County will be a tough match,” said Bebout. The Raiders also scheduled matches against St. Peters Prep, who finished at number six in the Star Ledger’s end of the year rankings, and Ridge.
The Raiders open their season this week with matches against JFK, Governor Livingston, and Oratory Prep.