The Thomas S. Wootton High School golf team peaked at the right time last fall to win a second consecutive state title. Now, with the 2014 season set to start Thursday, the Patriots are hoping for another championships.
Wootton finished third in the Yachmetz (upper) Division last year before winning the district and state titles. Wootton returns two of the county's top players in senior Justin Feldman, a University of Maryland, College Park recruit, and junior Delaney Shah, who won both the girls' district tournament title and co-ed district title last fall.
“We lost two of our starters from last year's state championship team, but I still think we're going to be formidable this season,” Wootton coach Paul Williams said. “We have a very strong group back.”
Wootton also expected to count on senior Grayson Bright and junior Jordan White.
Winston Churchill, last year's state runner-up, returns several starters from last year's squad that went 11-7. Seventh-year coach Michael Fisher said several talented underclassmen are also in the starting mix.
“We're going to have a good team in what is a very talented league,” Fisher said. “We had a five-stroke lead after the first day at states last year and then Wootton improved by 20 strokes the second day to win by five strokes. We're hoping that we can get back there and hold on to the lead this year.”
Churchill should have three girls starting in Eunbbie Kim, Hanna Jia and Lena Copoccia. Luke Schaap and Adam Gray are also expected to contribute along with Oliver Whatley and Dylan Rotter.
Walter Johnson expects to return five starters in seniors Josh Jacobs and Dustin New and juniors Noah Moss, Tasso Scilaris and Jordan Bobb. First-year coach Tom Wheeler also expects junior Rashad Deleshov and freshman Spencer Brody to have an impact.
Whitman should be led by sophomore Graham Hutchinson, who led the county in scoring (35.5 strokes per nine holes) during league play last fall. Junior Danny Mills is expected to be Whitman's No. 2 golfer.