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Fall sports previews: 3 things to watch for golf in 2019

Westminster's Aaron Sorkin tees off on the first hole of the 4A-3A District I tournament at Westminster National Golf Course Friday, Oct 12, 2018.
Westminster's Aaron Sorkin tees off on the first hole of the 4A-3A District I tournament at Westminster National Golf Course Friday, Oct 12, 2018. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

Carroll County’s 2019 high school golf season is set to begin Friday with a tournament at Oakmont Green in Hampstead that features six county teams.

The results won’t effect Carroll County Athletic League play, but coaches can likely use the outcome as a good barometer for what’s to come this fall. When official matches start up, Westminster stands as the two-time reigning CCAL champs.

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Plus, there seems to be plenty of returning players with low-scoring potential already making plans for another solid season. So here are three things to watch this fall:

There is proven all-county talent across Carroll

Seven of the nine players who landed on the Times’ all-county first team are back this season. Century has senior Liam Wolf; South Carroll has junior Nick Amateau; Westminster has senior Cory Campbell, junior Aaron Sorkin, and sophomore Jennifer Sorkin; and Winters Mill has seniors Brian Inglis and Emil Serafin.

SC’s Ryan Stankewicz, Times Player of the Year in 2017 and 2018, graduated in the spring.

(Century’s Justin Wunder, the other first-team all-county pick last fall, didn’t come out for golf this season.)

Likewise, eight of the top 10 from last year’s scoring leaders are back. Aaron Sorkin’s 37.1 nine-hole average is the best among returners. Wolf (38.0) and WM’s Ethan Wolbert (38.2) are next, with Westminster’s Cory Campbell (39.4) close behind.

Westminster and Winters Mill appear set to battle for CCAL supremacy once again. The Owls went 15-1 (6-0 county), and the Falcons posted a 16-1 (5-1) record. Westminster won last year’s regular-season matchup by six strokes, and took the county tournament a few days later to defend its title.

“Our goal is to go out, win counties again, and qualify for states, and try to improve on our performance from last year,” said Jim Carpenter, Westminster’s new coach.

Owls junior Aaron Sorkin is crafting a battle-tested resume

Westminster’s top player a year ago, Sorkin finished second in Carroll with a 37.1 nine-hole scoring average. Second came along a few times for the Owl — he lost to Stankewicz in a playoff at the county tournament, and was runner-up at the Class 4A-3A state tournament at University of Maryland.

Sorkin shot a 2-over 73 on the first day of play at states and followed that with a 75, which tied him with Edward Coffren of Northern High. Coffren won the crown on the second playoff hole, just as Stankewicz did at the county tourney.

“He’s very mature for his age,” Carpenter said of Sorkin. “He came back [from states] and goes, ‘I need to work on my playoffs.' That’s all he said. I was like, ‘OK, great!' ”

Expect a county contingent aiming for the state tournament

Winters Mill and Westminster each qualified for states a year ago, with the Owls (657) placing sixth in 4A-3A and the Falcons (362) failing to make the cut after the 2A-1a semifinals. But a handful of county players got a chance to play the Maryland course, and they’re gunning for another chance.

Century's Liam Wolf studies a green before putting during the 1A/2A MPSSA Golf Championship semi-finals held at the University of Maryland Tuesday in College Park.
Century's Liam Wolf studies a green before putting during the 1A/2A MPSSA Golf Championship semi-finals held at the University of Maryland Tuesday in College Park. (Doug Kapustin / For Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Along with Sorkin (148) and Stankewicz (153, third in 2A-1A), WM’s Inglis and Serafin each tied for 11th place (167) on the 2A-1A side. Wolf shot an 84 in the semifinals and placed 25th after two days (he scratched on Day 2).

Campbell was tied for 28th in 4A-3A with a 165, and Jennifer Sorkin (173) came in 17th on the girls side. Century’s Suzanna Martin played in the 2A-1A girls state tourney.

Josh Popielski and Avery Serafin rounded out Winters Mill’s boys state crew, while Liberty’s Gavin Greer and South Carroll’s Amateau also participated. Greer and Serafin graduated in the spring.

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