GEORGETOWN — St. John’s Prep senior golf captain Jeff O’Connor had no hesitation admitting where the strength of the Eagles lineup could be found this season.
A freshman and two sophomores produced three of the Eagles’ top four qualifying scores as they captured the Division 1 state golf championship yesterday afternoon at Black Swan Country Club with a team score of 312. St. John’s edged Catholic Conference rival Xaverian on a tiebreaker for the crown.
The title was the 13th overall for St. John’s Prep and first since 2010. Head coach Larry O’Neill has been at the helm for seven of the Eagles’ state championships.
Yesterday, St. John’s was led by sophomores Steven DiLisio (even-par 72) and James Turner (80), and freshman Mark Turner (80).
“They’re the biggest part of our team; without them, we were not going anywhere. Our job as seniors was to make sure they felt safe to play well, that they were accepted and making sure they were ready to play their game,” O’Connor said.
“That was our main goal, just making sure those kids could get after it and we could sit back. They’ve got all the talent.”
Two of the seniors — O’Connor included — may have come up with the biggest scores, however. Justin Serowik, playing out of the No. 6 spot for St. John’s, shot an 80, and O’Connor’s 82 was the tiebreaking score.
“It’s pretty awesome. It’s one of our goals to win a state championship every year (but) kind of hard to do,” O’Connor said. “I think the biggest thing is that we all knew going in that we had to finish everything out and not leave any shots out there.”
Black Swan was playing more difficult than normal because of a stiff wind that rarely seemed to be at the players’ backs. The Eagles, particularly DiLisio, made the necessary adjustments on the back nine to seal the victory.