2023 High School Golf Preview: West Division
The West Division is home to the defending State Champions – the La Salle Academy Rams.
The Rams are loaded up again this season and looking to repeat.
However, Eaton sisters and their Moses Brown Quakers will be looking to chase the Rams down.
It should be a great season long battle.
La Salle Academy Rams
The La Salle Rams enter the 2023 season as the favorite to repeat as State Champions this season.
“We are returning all top four players who scored for us last year in the state tournament which is a good thing. We have three to four others who are really solid players and competing for five or six spots,” said La Salle head coach Steve White.
Any conversation about La Salle starts with Max Jackson.
The Rutgers commit is the two-time defending High School State Champion, and two-time defending RI Junior Amateur champ.
“Max is tremendous. Even from the time he was a freshman, the kids see how talented he is, but they also see his work ethic. He goes to the range, he is very focused, working on certain things. He is a leader by example. The greatest thing about max is you ask him to do something, he gets there and he is very focused. The other kids see that and follow suit,” said White.
Alongside Jackson, the Rams have defending High School Girls Champion Olivia Williams.
Williams, now a sophomore, is also the defending RI Girls Junior – Amateur champ.
“She is very talented player, beautiful golf swing. One thing I’ve noticed this year from last year is that she is working out, doing core exercises at the gym, her distances have improved. I think she is going to have a stronger season than last year,” said White.
If Jackson and Williams are not enough, La Salle is pretty solid through the rest of the roster.
Joe Earley and Charlie Melvin round out the top four players.
Both players have contended in Challenge Cup events, with Earley playing down at Doral over the winter break.
“I think both Joe Earley and Charlie Melvin are playing great golf. Joe is a team captain, he is really a leader on the team. Last year he won his first Challenge Cup event and that was a big breakthrough for him,” added White.
White says that Tiernan Shibles and Grady Boyle are the “leaders in the clubhouse” for the five and six slots. At least to start the season.
So with that, the title defense begins.
If the Rams do repeat, they will be the first team to do it since Moses Brown won three straight titles from 2014-2016.
The Moses Brown Quakers finished third at last year’s State Championship tournament with a score of 61-over par, just a few shots out of second and well behind La Salle.
Moses Brown is looking to get back to the big dance and maybe even challenge for the division.
“I think we have a little more depth this year than we did last year, We are certainly not as strong as Hendricken, las Salle or Barrington, we should fit in somewhere around there,” said head coach Larry Tremblay.
This season, the Quakers will be led by senior Kylie Eaton and sophomore Parker Kroll.
Eaton has already had a storied junior career, winning the Rhode Island Women’s Amateur this past summer and the Kirkbrae Club Championship for the third straight year.
“Obviously, she is a senior and has worked on here game over the winter. My guess is she will be better than she was last year, she is very competitive just like her sister (Adriana). They are great kids, easy to coach,” said Termblay.
Eaton’s sister, Adriana, joins the Moses Brown team this year as a freshman.
Adriana lost to Kylie in the Women’s Am and in the Kirkbrae Championship match.
“Her goal is to beat Kylie, and Kylie’s goal is to beat her,” added Tremblay.
Kroll was a freshman last season and contributed in a big way behind Harry Dessel and Eaton.
Tremblay says that he has matured a lot over the year.
According to Tremblay, other players to watch on the roster include Ben Bamford, Gunner Lundine and Gunner Krine.
Best of the Rest:
North Providence – The Cougars finished fourth in the division last season behind Wheeler, who has left the Rhode Island Interscholastic League.
This season, North Providence will attempt to climb the standings led by Ryan Gervais.
Gervais consistently shot in the high 40s last season and will look to improve.
The other teams in the division is Achievement 1st Academy, Johnston, Classical and Scituate.