Atholton’s Chris Robinson says this year’s Raiders’ boys squad is relishing the underdog role.
The only problem is, if the team keeps playing like it has these first two weeks of the season, that won’t be an option for very much longer.
Playing at Hobbit’s Glen on Tuesday afternoon, Atholton improved to 4-0 this fall with a tri-match sweep of Reservoir and Wilde Lake. Robinson led the way with 24 points and the Raiders put up 82 points as a team to easily outpace the Gators (60) and Wildecats (47).
After going 5-6 a year ago, this year’s group of guys has high aspirations.
“We’ve kind of embraced the fact that we were flying under the radar a little bit to start the year and I think we all kind of liked it that way,” Robinson said. “We knew how hard we worked over the summer to prepare for the season … we felt like there was the potential for a really good year.
“There’s still room for improvement, but we’re getting there.”
Part of the key to the team’s success has been balance. On Tuesday, for example, Nick Osterman (career-high 21 points) and Max Rosenthal (20 points) backed up Robinson with strong rounds.
In the team’s other two matches, the Raiders’ fourth starter — Josh Lewis — went for 20 or more points.
“It definitely helps knowing that if one of us doesn’t have our best day, someone else is capable of putting up a good number and picking us up,” said Robinson, who got his round started on Tuesday with a birdie on the first hole. “We have four really solid guys this year.”
Robinson, Rosenthal and Lewis all got significant playing time last fall, but Osterman has been the missing piece that has pushed this year’s team over the hump.
In Tuesday’s tri-match, the sophomore put together four pars en route to his career-best round. Last year, he had been regulated to being a spectator for most of the team’s matches.
“I tried to learn what I could from walking the courses last year,” Osterman said. “Using that experience and then improving my driving off the tee… it’s all helped a lot.”
Atholton’s biggest test will come next week in a tri-match against Marriotts Ridge and Centennial. The Mustangs are also off to an undefeated start and have the designation of being the preseason favorite.
“We have a lot of respect for Marriotts Ridge. That’s a really good team,” Robinson said. “But, I’m not going to lie, that’s a match we’ve had circled on the calendar for awhile now. I think we’re all interested to see how we stack up against them.”
Atholton 82, Reservoir 60, Wilde Lake 47
A (4-0): Robinson 24, Osterman 21, Rosenthal 20, Lewis 17.
Re (2-2): Dorn 21, Yang 15, Kim 14, Vemulakonda 10.
WL (1-3): Brady 16, Brooks 14, Boccher 14, Wilson 3.
Howard 80, River Hill 74, Hammond 16
Ho (4-0): Crawford 24, Cherry 20, Higgins 20, Park 16.
RH (2-2): Brett Gold 22, Kevin Green 20, D. Gold 18, Brown 14.
Ha (0-4): Edwards 7, Mitchell 7, McDonald 1, Bondurant 1.
Marriotts Ridge 80, Mt. Hebron 62, Long Reach 42
MR (4-0): Mejia 25, Buch 23, Dorsch 21, Poleforne 11.
MH (1-3): Hardy 22, Montgomery 16, Dubois 13, Stevens 11.
LR (0-4): Bartollotta 13, Grabowski 11, Gates 9, Spotte-Smith 9.