5 boys golf storylines we’d have been glued to in the 2020 season that wasn’t

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2019 boys golf TOC
Christian Brothers Academy's boys golf team (from left, Randall Lazzaro, TOC runner-up Bradan Hansen, TOC champ Jack Wall and Finbar Bonner) poses with its 3rd-straight T of C trophy, but would that dominance have continued? Only Bonner would have returned for this season.Scott Faytok | For NJ Advance Me

Written by Lou Monaco for NJ.com 

If this were an ordinary boys golf season, sectional state champions would have been crowned this week and teams would have been looking forward to the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions on May 20 at Washington’s Hawk Pointe Golf Club in Warren County.

But this is far from ordinary. It’s not even a season. School matches, tournaments and individual accomplishments have all been taken away from the boys golf high school teams across the Garden State due to the coronavirus pandemic. Jersey schools are now officially closed for the school year, and the HS sports season is officially over.

Here are five story lines that would have been hot, and we sure would have loved to have covered them.

Would CBA’s dominance have continued? Last year, Lincroft’s Christian Brothers Academy completed its fourth straight undefeated season, going 15-0 in dual matches and capturing its third straight overall NJSIAA Tournament of Champions team title by seven strokes over its rival, No. 2 Bergen Catholic.

And not to forget, two seniors, friends and teammates in their final high school tournament squared off to see who would be crowned the state’s individual champion.

Arguably the greatest HS golfer ever to tee it up in the state, senior tri-captain and two-time NJ.com Player of the Year recipient Jack Wall defended his state title over fellow tri-captain Brendan Hansen on the second playoff hole.

This year, five players from that team would have been lost to graduation, but five new seniors (Finbar Bonner, Ricky Calve, Chris DiGiorgio, Christian Lee and Aidan McCague) would have been ready to defend, as the Colts would have been shooting for its fourth straight state team title.

Could they have done it? It would have been fun to watch.

Would Bergen Catholic retake the state’s mantle?: Before getting KOed by CBA in 2017, Bergen Catholic had its own three-peat of TOC championships. Senior captain and Fairfield-bound Leo Turi would have led the attempt to retake the title, along with two others seniors, Tom Olson and Mike Nargizian.

Under the leadership of head coach Jim Jacobsen, last year’s NJ.com Coach of the Year, in what would have been his 38th season at the helm, the Crusaders would have been on mission to halt CBA’s championship streak.

Other teams we would have loved to watch: Delbarton, Don Bosco, Midland Park, Moorestown, Newark Academy, Rumson-Fair Haven, St. Augustine, Seton Hall Prep, Westfield and Williamstown to name a few.

Other players we would have loved to watch: Seton Hall Prep senior and Sacred Heart-bound Conor Handley, St. Augustine senior and North Carolina State-bound Drue Nicholas, Delbarton senior Drew Mulcahy, Hunterdon Central senior Michael McCrone, Chatham junior Cole Ekert, Peddie junior Chris Dorey, Princeton junior Adam Macmillan and West Essex junior Garrett Kessler to name a few.

Seniors: To have one last shot at competing and with a last chance at a putt to win a potential state individual or team title, this would have been an honor to cover.

Just know all of your accomplishments throughout your four years at your high school institution will always be remembered. Thank you for contributing four years of moments and memories to the high school golf landscape here in the Garden State.

To all players that will continue their playing careers in college, we will be watching.

Do you have any other storylines that are notable that should be added? Let us know!

Reprinted courtesy of Lou Monaco at lmonaco@njadvancemedia.com.

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