Talk about the rich getting richer.
Arundel, which boasted the girls winner in the state public schools golf championships last fall, has added another hot shot to its veteran cast and is poised to make a solid run at the team title in addition to any individual crowns it might claim.
Joining junior Callie Vance, who wiped out the girls field by six strokes with a 79-80-159 at the University of Maryland golf course last fall, coach Carol Nutt welcomes Brian Scott to her cast, which also includes experienced golfers Erik Pedley, D.J. Ogilvie and Mike Wolfe.
Scott's credentials belie the fact he's only 14 and entering his sophomore year. Back in June, he captured the one-day Maryland State Junior Amateur title with a 72 at Suburban Country Club. "You show up, sign up and shoot," he says of that effort.
For most of last year, Scott attended DeMatha High in Hyattsville and, playing No. 2 on the varsity squad as a freshman, was unbeaten in seven matches in the rugged Washington Catholic Athletic Conference. He resides in Crofton, so returning to Arundel is a homecoming of sorts.
Meanwhile, Vance hasn't been resting on her laurels. While she wasn't able to successfully defend her Mid-Atlantic PGA Junior title earlier this summer, she made up for it by capturing the Compact Junior All-Star Classic, sponsored by the American Junior Golf Association, by firing a 77-72-149 over the par-71 Angel Park layout in Las Vegas, Nev.
Public schools golf is co-ed, with the girls playing from the forward tees. The top four scorers of six players from a school count through county and district championship qualifying tournaments leading up to the state tournament. Last year, in College Park, John Rattan, a senior at Watkins Mill, won a three-way playoff in the fourth hole of sudden death over a field of 132 boys. The girls field was considerably smaller (12), with North Carroll senior Carlie Gordon finishing second to Vance. Nutt says interest and ability is such on the distaff side, however, that it won't be long before there are separate tournaments.
Walt Whitman High of Montgomery County won the Class 4A-3A title last year with a combined score of 605, an average of 75.5 strokes by its four scorers playing 36 holes. Walkersville repeated as champs in Class 2A-1A over eight teams with a 646 total and 81 average.
For district and state play, Maryland is divided into eight districts, District 6 covering Baltimore County and District 5 including Anne Arundel, Carroll and Harford counties.
Dulaney, as usual, was the 4A-3A team representative from Baltimore County at the state test last fall while Towson, Pikesville and Overlea qualified for the 2A-1A event. Pikesville was the Baltimore County champ and, with Dulaney and Towson, looms as the team to beat this season.
With so many schools competing (23), Baltimore County is split into three geographical divisions with matches conducted at the Diamond Ridge, Rocky Point and Long View courses. The divisions conduct round-robin play before moving on to the county championship at Oakmont Glen in Hampstead Sept. 27, then to the district qualifier at Long View Oct. 11.
Similar to Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County has a well-established program and splits its 12 schools into A and B divisions.
A perennial power in District 5 is Westminster, and one of its standouts is Beth Biden.
Baltimore City (District 7), along with a few counties, doesn't compete in golf or does not take part in the state tourney. Howard County conducts the sport at the club level.
This year's titles will be decided over the University of Maryland's 6,271-yard, par-71 course (5,563 yards for girls) Oct. 23-24.
The state's private and parochial schools conduct their golf season during the spring.