It may be a new season but the Weston High boys golf team has some unfinished business it wants to take care of this year.
The Trojans, who came so close to league and state championships a year ago, want to take the next step in 2013. Already they seem in good shape to reach these goals as their entire varsity lineup has returned.
“They’re very driven,” said first-year head coach Craig Saltzgaber, whose team starts the season this week. “They’re got their eye on the prize.”
An avid golfer, Saltzgaber is no stranger to coaching. He has also coached youth baseball and softball teams. He succeeds Brandt Nigro, who led the golf team for three seasons and one South-West Conference championship.
While the weather could have been more cooperative a couple of weeks ago when Weston started to practice it still found ways to work on certain parts of its game, such as going to a driving range. Now that conditions are improving it is getting more time as Aspetuck Valley Country Club.
“We’ve done what we could,” said Saltzgaber. “The kids have been great. They’ve been enthusiastic.”
Saltzgaber inherits a team with a solid foundation. Posting a 14-2 overall record, the Trojans were South-West Conference runners up by just two strokes to Pomperaug, the only team to defeat them during the regular season.
It was even closer for Weston at the state Division III tournament. There the Trojans were second to Lewis Mills of Burlington by a stroke.
No one graduated from last season’s team and with a good turnout the Trojans are even bigger in terms of numbers with 20 golfers. The varsity squad will contain six to eight with four to eight on JV. The rest will be o a developmental squad.
Among Weston’s more experienced players are senior captain Max Catucci and Jared Kapel. An All-State and All-SWC selection, Catucci was Weston’s No. 1 golfer last season and medalist at the SWC tournament. He will play for Eckerd College next year.
Kapel, an All-Patriot Division selection, was also a regular scorer for Weston. Classmates Nigel Poppy, Aaron Cohen and Aaron Gaberman also back.
From the junior class Weston has Joe Klokus and Asher Greenberg. Both were varsity scorers last season as well as All-Patriot selections.
“We’re returning a veteran team with a lot of varsity experience,” said Saltzgaber.
Weston has seven sophomores, including Alex Watanabe, who will get time in varsity matches, according to Saltzgaber. In addition, the Trojans have four freshmen who will help in the future.
Although the Trojans are in good shape for success they will face some competition, particularly in the SWC as Pomperaug had a number of starters back. The two teams will face each other in Weston’s first home meet on Monday.