In a year where Severn School has reached the top in athletics time and time again, the golf program posted another championship in dominant fashion.
Despite traversing through a difficult course in Caves Valley Golf Club, the Admirals jetted out to a hot start to easily beat Boys’ Latin, 17-4, to become Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference champions, paying the Lakers back for beating Severn earlier in the season.
“I think when my guys get an early taste for blood, so to speak, they kind of run with it from there,” first-year Admirals coach Rob Agresti said. “Their confidence level just rose.”
The Admirals weren’t exactly dark horses to take the crown, only dropping two matches in the regular season against Archbishop Curley and Boys’ Latin, both played away. But the formula that worked all spring continued to roll on Sunday, golfers one through four performing — seniors Robert McNitt and Josh Bing in the one and two spots, junior Casey O’Donnell in the three spot and sophomore John Stamato in the fourth.
“They led the way and set the tone a little bit. Their experience over the last four years has certainly helped,” Agresti said of his two seniors. “Our top four have been consistent, and when they weren’t earlier in the season, we have some sophomores on the five, six spot that really helped us out.”
Severn struggled through its fifth and sixth matches, due largely to the difficulty of the course itself. To succeed, the coach said, golfers had to keep their ball in the fairway. If it escapes to the rough, the thickness of the course makes it pretty stuck.
“But they started to turn it around in the end, and did a great job managing their games,” Agresti said. “They hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens. They adapted to the speed of the greens well, made some key putts that gave us a lead early on. I guess the rest is history from there.”
It’s not as if Severn competed any courses that prepared them for one like this. The spring’s cool temperatures limited the grass growth on the courses the Admirals competed on, the coach explained. Adaptability, however, is something Agresti preached to his golfers all season long. Regardless of the setting, or the positions they found themselves in hole to hole, the ticket was always to just make the right decision at the moment.
“Ultimately, they just controlled their golf ball off the tee, put themselves in position. They were aggressive where they could afford to be aggressive,” Agresti said, “and when they were out of position, played a little more conservatively. ... We kind of flipped things from there.”
Golf’s is one of 12 championships — all but one varsity — that Severn has hauled in during the 2021-22 school year. Athletic director Julian Domenech believes it’s not only a gathering of fortune that’s made this happen, but a concentrated result from the Admirals coaching staff setting in a good culture.
“We’re just fortunate to have coaches that understand how to put quality teams together and within an educational setting,” he said. “It’s been great.”
In Domenech’s 14 years leading Severn athletics and in gazing around the gym at the school’s many athletic banners, the athletic director surmises that this 12-title total is the most Admiral teams have brought home in one calendar year.
“It’s unprecedented,” Domenech said. “Things just lined up in different sports and we were fortunate.”
Agresti, though in his first year and coaching a fairly solitary sport, still felt the effects of the championship mentality roaming around the school.
“The individuals I was involved with and even their parents were super supportive. The kids were very coachable, very respectful,” Agresti said. “So I think they’ve got a great culture as a whole at Severn.”