YORKTOWN, N.Y. — One would be hard pressed to find a team that did as well in its first season of play in any sport as the Yorktown girls golf squad did in its maiden voyage on the Section 1 links.
Yorktown finished 9-0, won the Section 1 League C title and finished runners-up in the team sectional tournament.
“This team saw their opportunity to establish their own program and identity,” said Yorktown coach Justin Longobardi, who coached the team along with Alex Massimi. “They dedicated themselves to the team and were committed to becoming better players. Dedication and hard work allowed for our success.”
Longobardi said it was great for the girls to win a title in their first season of play.
“It allowed the seniors to leave their legacy and fingerprint on the program,” Longobardi said. “It will also be great for our program. We are excited to begin working with our returning underclassmen, but also new players who may want to join the team.”
The Huskers’ success this season is largely attributed to the leadership demonstrated by their senior co-captains Gabriella Rufa (all-league) and Nicole Triano (all-section).
Triano also qualified for, and played in, the state championships at Bethpage State Park. She was a member of Section 1’s state championship winning team and received the sportsmanship award given to one golfer from each section.
“Both Gabriella and Nicole played for the boys team for the past three years,” Longobardi. “They took those experiences and set the bar for what is to be expected for the future of girls golf in Yorktown. We will miss them both next year.”
Yorktown had two other upperclassmen, senior Allison O’Donnell and junior Abbey Forde (all-section) plus five underclassmen in sophomores Jayla Masci (all-league), Michaela Kyer, Claudia Rufa, Sarah Gelick and freshman Olivia Gelick, who each played important roles on this year’s squad.
“We saw improvement from all of our players from the beginning of the season until the end,” Longobardi said. “We practice every day of the week. This allowed our players to continually maintain and improve upon their skills, and receive instruction from coach Massimi and myself. The group was very receptive to coaching as well, which made our jobs easier and allowed them to improve as players.”
One of the team highlights was defeating Carmel, the defending league champion, twice.
“Our consistent low scores from our number one to number six golfer allowed us to beat some very good teams in our league,” Longobardi said.
What made the team’s success extra special for the coaches is that Longobardi and Massimi are both Yorktown 1999 graduates.
Longobardi was a tight end and a defensive tackle on the ‘98 state semifinal Yorktown football squad.
“Coach Massimi and I are extremely proud that we have been able to work at Yorktown as former graduates,” Longobardi said. “We are also very proud of the performance of this team.”
As for next season, the Huskers will look to keep up its high level of success.
“Our keys to next season will be for our returning players to continually work on their skills throughout the summer and fall months,” Longobardi said. “We will rely on their leadership to continue our success in the future.”