SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

September 2, 2013

Golf Preview: St. John's Prep is set up for years of strength

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Eleven golfers in the Salem High program just returned from Walt Disney World’s Old Key West resort after spending a few days of preseason there with head coach Tommy Doyle.

This is the 11th year that Doyle has been taking his team to Disney World for part of preseason.

“This year every kid that returned went. It was kind of a unique year. Usually we take the top eight returning players,” Doyle said. “We just go down and have some fun. We went from Thursday to Tuesday. We went to all the parks and the water parks and played golf at Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course. It was great.”

Doyle considers it a great opportunity for his players to challenge their golf skills on a difficult course while also creating some team chemistry.

“They get some lifelong experiences. Four of five of them this year had never been, and that’s amazing to see those kids walk into the place and experience something like that for the first time,” Doyle said. “The kids get to bond and we always have some fun. It’s good for the kids and sets up the season nicely.”

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Peabody coach Peter Cronan is back for his fourth season, and each previous year he had a clear-cut top player in Athan Goulos. This is Cronan’s first year without Goulos, who graduated last spring, but he doesn’t feel like the Tanners are going to slip much.

Senior Nolan Franey played No. 2 last year and he’s back as a captain this fall. Cronan expects Franey, juniors Matt Correale, Steve Ferrante, and sophomore Patrick McCarthy to compete for the top spot.

Sophomore transfer Ted Izzo has also been a nice surprise this preseason.

“I’m not sure who the No. 1 is yet,” Cronan said. “I think I could end up rotating through 3-4 people. They all play pretty close to the same and they play pretty good golf.”

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