GLEN RIDGE, NJ--It wasn't the season the Glen Ridge High golf team had hoped for, after a good start to practice, but head coach Domenic Curfman is optimistic about the future of the program.
The Ridgers had started practice in early March, and with the weather seasonable, the team got outside right away.
"It was going well," said Curfman, a teacher in the GR school system. "We had a decent turnout of players and were really optimistic about the season, with the hopes of playing for a conference championship. But, we all know how it went this spring. I feel really badly for the seniors. They're a great group and they're all going on to tremendous futures."
Indeed, the five seniors will be attending big-time colleges. Seniors Caitlin Cifelli and Alec Vecchione were two-year captains. Cifelli will attend the University of Notre Dame while Vecchione is off to the University of Wisconsin. Jeff Egan will be attending Clemson University, in South Carolina, Chandler Otterbein will go to Northeastern University, in Boston, and Nick Richardson has committed to the College of Charleston, in South Carolina.
Among the returning players for 2021 are juniors Eliza Berner, Jordyn Parker and Julia Valerian. The sophomores are Rachel Shepps and Holly Vincent while the freshmen are Preston Palm, Evan Twitchell and Emma Valerian.
When the season was first suspended, and there was hope that the team could get back on the links, Curfman, like many other coaches, had put together a line of communication, through Google Classroom.
"I had given the students a 'Performance Analysis, the Ultimate Tool', which talks about mastering how you think, train and perform, in a worksheet format," said Curfman. "With golf, it's one of those sports where you don't need to be with others to work on your game. Stuff like chipping and putting can be done in backyard, or inside.
"I also posted updates as to the status of the season. When it was announced that school would not be opened for the rest of the year, I actually heard it from the kids before I had a chance to tell them."
Golf courses in New Jersey have been re-opened for a few weeks now, but the team is still not allowed to get together, per school and state regulations.
Curfman had a final message to his team this season and was nice enough to share it for our readers.
Good Afternoon Team:
This would have been our last week of the 2020 Golf Season. We had big expectations this year: Conference Title, Conference Tournament Champs and Qualifying for the states, as a team. '
Sadly, our season was ended before we could even play our first match. Unlike our matches, our season was ended by something we couldn't prepare for and robbed us of our opportunity to chase our goals and our seniors of their final season. Life will not always be fair and athletics often are not. There will not always be victories, just because you put in the effort.
Failure will be right there, standing over your shoulder to discourage you. Through the rest of your life, you will fall back on things that athletics taught you. You will learn first-hand the meaning of locker room slogans and motivational phrases. You will have many opportunities to quit, and will feel like it often. You will want to throw in the towel, but your thoughts will go back to how sweet the victories were.
You will remember the principles and effort it took to learn discipline, self-sacrifice, and perseverance. You will remember those things and apply them to your everyday life. You will remember the “little things” that it took to be successful and you will keep going.
Thank you team and seniors for your hard work and dedication, it IS NOTICED and APPRECIATED. I look forward to our return to the course next year and seniors, I wish you the best! We will all be cheering for you!!!
The following is a virtual piece the underclassmen did, to honor the seniors http://https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FXxI2-ptLEPa13eSkq_UHtTiYKtC7XpX/view