North Pocono's varsity golf team is right on the cusp
There’s a lot of fresh things going on this season with the North Pocono boys golf team.
First up, the squad has some new digs.
After several years of negotiating led by Head Coach Brian Fruehan, and with support from the school board and administration, the Trojans now call the front nine of Elmhurst Country Club their home links.
Secondly, it’s still a very young team with a mountain of potential.
“Elmhurst has been a good switch for us,” said Fruehan. “It’s something that we’ve been working on for a few years.
“It’s given us a new mindset and the kids are very respectful of the club. It also puts another course into the mix for the league to play on.”
Of the eight players on the varsity card, three are freshmen and five a returning from last season.
Of those returners, two are sophomores. With Steve McNulty and Thomas Ruddy the only seniors on the squad, and Dan Evans the lone junior, the rest of the cast is still relatively youthful.
Jake Millan and Matt Domanish, both sophomores, saw action last fall. They are joined by plebes Jake Clancy, Logan Rose, and Billy Pabst.
Pabst shot a 72 to score as the low freshman at the Jackman Memorial Tournament held in August at Scranton Municipal.
“Our talent is young,” Fruehan said. “In addition to the up-and-coming players, there’s also some junior high kids that we hope will join us over the next few years and allow us to fight for division titles.”
Ups & Downs
League play got underway at Elmhurst on Aug. 20 when North Pocono hosted Paupack.
Although the Trojans put up a good fight, the Buckhorns ultimately notched a 7-2 win.
At Glen Oak two days later, the gents did slightly better against Abington Heights, but still ended up taking a 6 ½ - 2 ½ loss.
Wrapping up the opening week on Aug. 23 at Muni, the Trojans faced Valley View but came up short once again, falling to the Cougars 6-3.
Finally, North Pocono made some gains the during the second week. Back at Muni on Aug.27, they posted a solid 9-0 victory against Scranton. However, two days later, at Honesdale Country Club, they took a 7-2 hit from the Hornets.
Back at home on Aug. 30, they finished the week on the upswing by shelling West Scranton 9-0.
Following the Labor Day break, the Trojans trekked to Lords Valley and notched a decisive 9-0 win against Delaware Valley on Sept. 4.
Thunderstorms pushed back their Aug. 6 meeting with Paupack to Sep.11 as well as their Sep.10 bout with Abington Heights.
Dueling at Woodloch Springs, the Trojans showed improvement against the Buckhorns this time around and although they took a loss, they closed the gap on Paupack to 5 ½ - 3 ½.
On Sept. 12, back at Elmhurst, the Trojans would strike a blow to the Cougars. After losing to Valley View during their first contest, North Pocono capped the afternoon with a 5-4 victory.
Home the following day as well, they bested the visiting Knights 8-1, improving their own position in the division while keeping Scranton in the cellar in the process.
“DV was the best win for us,” Fruehan said. “We played solid one through six after five days of rain and everyone shot under 50. I also thought we played well against Abington Heights.
“The kids shot well but we lost in match play.”
Over & Out
At 5-5, it’ll be tough for the Trojans to make a run for a district playoff spot this season.
As of the end of last week, with a 9-0 tally, Abington Heights will be tough to pry out of the top spot in the Lackawanna League AAA class. Honesdale and Paupack were both at 7-3 while Valley View stood at 6-4.
Individually, though, NP could sneak in a player or two into the championships.
“We’re making some youthful mistakes, but we have the potential to compete for some playoff spots,” Fruehan said.
“There’s a lot of talent on the team and even if things don’t end up well, they are learning a lot that will help them down the road.”