They understood their role as mentors for the novice players. Becoming a member of this team was both competitive and commanded respect.
On Varsity, there was always encouragement of the younger players, specifically the freshman who were scattered between the JV, and newly formed, club team. These seniors led by example, demonstrating to their young pliable teammates the needed work ethic, love of golf, and strategies for golf matches.
The team’s home course is Yardley Country Club where most team members join as junior members, playing from sunup to sundown through the spring and summer months. Eager to learn, the freshmen fell in love with the game, took mental notes, and prepared for their sophomore year starting the day after their freshman season ended.
The next season began after hours of practicing, taking lessons and playing in regional tournaments.
These determined players advanced their game tenfold from the previous season.
The seniors from the previous year had moved on, but their work ethic lived on.
Under the excellent guidance of the wonderful coaches, Mr. Curtis May and Dr. Kevin O’Meara, this group welcomed the new class of freshman and the friendships grew.
The team practiced and golfed together endlessly, supporting and pushing one another, as the seniors had done with them.
The seniors had also taught the freshmen the importance of community service.
The Pennsbury Golf Team has a long-standing dedication to giving back to the community.
Years ago, the relationship between the PHS Golf Team and First Tee of Greater Trenton began.
This alignment was initiated by Pennsbury’s own Hughes family, and has always been led by the players themselves. The team members volunteer as mentors to the participants who are looking to explore the game of golf and learn lessons that translate to lifelong knowledge.
First Tee is a national program that was started to help young people develop character by focusing on the First Tee Nine Core Values of honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, and courtesy through the game of golf.
Pennsbury Team captain, senior Jack Gerity, works with the First Tee Coaches and Volunteers to organize the Pennsbury golfers as the program mentors.
They report every Saturday morning to volunteer their time throughout the winter months.
This year the team will log in approximately 220 volunteer hours mentoring these young golfers of the greater Trenton area.
The mentorship program has not only influenced the young children of the First Tee, but the PHS golf team also learned valuable lifelong lessons through mentoring. Lessons from the mentoring experience in the First Tee Program, together with the mentoring done by that special group of seniors created a team bond that was undeniable. This culminated in a new record for Pennsbury Golf resulting in a perfect season – record of 17 – 0 for 2019! This undefeated season is a first for the Falcon’s Golf Team (records dating back to 1989).
There may have been stronger individual golfers in the past, but this team was undoubtedly special.
This teams’ record in the Suburban One League (12-0) put them in sole first place and they defeated a perennially good conference rival Central Bucks West as well.
The Falcons qualified 10 golfers for the SOL tournament at Five Ponds, and eight of those would move on to the State District tournament at Ravens Claw and Turtle Creek.
Jade Gu would win the SOL girls individual title for the second year.
In the team event, PHS finished a close second place at Districts and their beloved coaches, Coach May and Coach O’Meara, won the Sportsmanship Coach of the Year.
The Pennsbury golf team now says good-bye to seniors Julie Cohen, Ethan Finkelstein, Will Gerity, C. J. Ackler, and Captain Jack Gerity.
These team members leave the Falcons in good hands looking ahead to much success next year.
The foundation for excellence that began back in 2016 will not leave with these seniors, but continues with the remaining underclassmen; Chris Myers, Ryan Rearden, Josh Cicco, Adi Gaba, Jade Gu, and Arielle Shultz.
The legacy will continue.
Who’s next to join the 2020 PHS Co-Ed Varsity Golf Team?
PHOTO CAP: Pennsbury Golf team members, from left, Jack Gerity, Adi Gaba, Ryan Rearden, Josh Cicco, Will Gerity, Ethan Finkelstein, and Jade Gu.