2022 High School Golf Preview: Western Division
How will the west be won this year?
In our last high school golf preview, we examine just that.
The Western Division is going to come down to La Salle, Moses Brown and possibly Wheeler making a push for a State Championship berth.
All of the talk about La Salle golf mostly starts and ends with sophomore phenom Max Jackson.
Jackson has won, or at least competed in nearly every junior event in the region over the last year or two. He enters the season as the defending individual state champion and RI Junior Amateur champion.
“Max Jackson is a cut above everybody else,” said Wheeler head coach Shane Drury.
However, behind Jackson, La Salle is pretty loaded this season with junior Joseph Earley, sophomore Charles Melvin, and freshman Olivia Williams.
“Clearly La Salle is the favorite, I know coach White doesn’t want to hear that, but they are the favorite. They are going to play in our event in May (Hendricken Invitational) and we are looking forward,” said Bishop Hendricken head coach Rick Angeli.
Moses Brown head coach Larry Tremblay added, “La Salle is the favorite, I mean La Salle has Jackson, Melvin and Earley.”
Earley played down in Florida during the offseason, finishing 32nd at the Innisbrook 54-Hole Open, and also playing at PGA National alongside Charlie Woods.
Williams finished runner up in the Rhode Island Girls Junior Amateur.
The Rams could also get contributions from freshman Jordan Vrees and senior Nicolas Colangelo.
La Salle finished third at last year’s State Championship, this year, they will look to finish a few rungs higher.
La Salle has not won a golf state team championship since 1974.
All this talk about La Salle being the favorite, well, Moses Brown is right there as well.
After finishing in a tie for fourth at last year’s State Championship, the Quakers return three key pieces, Harry Dessel, Kylie Eaton and Ben d’Entremont.
“Harry & Ben are seniors, and Kylie is steady, she should have played better than what she did, hoping that this year she bounces back. She won the shortened girls Challenge Cup Tournament in tough conditions at Potowomut. Those three are very important to the program, they are the core of the team, if they don’t score we are in trouble,” said head coach Larry Tremblay.
As GolfNewsRI reported, Dessel has committed to play Division I golf at Lafayette next year, while Eaton is the defending RI Girls Junior Amateur champion, beating Olivia Williams.
d’Entremont finished in a tie for 61st at the Challenge Cup earlier this week.
Moses Brown will also look for contributions from freshman Parker Kroll and junior Ben Bamford.
“Young freshman Parker Kroll isn’t seasoned but he is coming along. We have 9 kids and that seems to be working out okay,” said Tremblay.
Moses Brown last won a golf state championship in 2018, and this season they will have as good a chance as any to snag another title.
It is truly going to be a fascinating battle between La Salle and Moses Brown, not only for the division, but for the state title.
Best of the Rest
Wheeler – 2019 State Champion Wheeler made it back to the State Championship last year, and made the cut, finishing sixth overall.
This season, will be a rebuilding year for the Warriors, though they still expect to be competitive.
“We lost 5 seniors last year, but we have a decent team, I think everybody is solid 1-3, but after that we will need some players to step up,” said head coach Shane Drury.
Wheeler will be led by Spencer Krex and Jordan Gaudioso, who finished 75th and 55th at this past week’s Challenge Cup event.
“If they have decent years then will be decent, if they don’t then we won’t,” Drury added.
Wheeler will also seek contributions from sophomore Zoheb Akhtar, who Drury says is a “ball striking machine,” as well as juniors Declan Murphy and Nick Young.
The other teams in the division are Johnston, North Providence and Scituate.
Shea no longer has a team.