Strath Haven Golfers End Main Line Dominance
For the past two decades, Conestoga and Radnor have ruled the Central League when it comes to high school golf. That changed this fall when the Strath Haven golf team won the school’s first-ever league championship, posting a perfect 13-0 record. Along the way, Haven’s deep squad of seniors and underclassmen scored impressive wins over the Main Line powers.
The seeds of the Panthers success were planted three years ago when a talented freshman class comprised of Kevin Smith, David Merz, Nick Cardow and Alex Lombard joined the team. Haven began to score wins, but it could not topple ‘Stoga or Radnor, which both have won multiple state championships over the years.
With inspirational coach (and Strath Haven Middle School teacher) Kevin Kochersperger pointing the way, Haven dispatched Springfield, Penncrest, Marple and Ridley out of the gate to set the stage for a monumental season. In the big match of the season against undefeated Conestoga at Haven’s home course of Springhaven, the Panthers put up their lowest team score of the year, led by Kevin Smith’s three under par 32 (high school golf uses a 9 hole format). Other notable rounds over the season included junior Jackson Debusschere’s 35 vs. Lower Merion, senior David Merz’s 35 vs. Marple, sophomore Grace Smith and senior Nick Cardow both carding 38 vs. Conestoga and freshman Tyler Debusschere’s 39 in the perfect-season-ending win vs. Garnet Valley.
The depth of the team was solidified by senior Alex Lombard and underclassmen Thomas Sullivan, Colin Beucler, Paige Brown, Jake Malarkey and Jackson Voshell. Haven heads to the District tournament in mid-October, where the team will take on the best high school golf teams in the area. The foundation is now in place for the Panther linksters to build a top tier program in the years ahead.