By Brandy L. Simms
CLARKSBURG — The golf teams from Blake, Blair, Magruder and Richard Montgomery assembled at Little Bennett Golf Course Monday for a match between some of Montgomery County’s top amateurs.
Blake sophomore Matthew Salter and Richard Montgomery freshman Emma Chen shined on the golf course, posting a low score of 39.
Blair senior Max Edminster (40) and Magruder freshman Shoshana Zuck (48) also posted low scores on the afternoon.
Besides Zuck, Magruder also features talented sophomore Davis Martin and senior captain Cory Bernstein. Salter and classmate Jack Deosaran are among Blake head coach Sam Silverman’s top pupils.
Meanwhile, Blair, who is coached by Ben DeRuosi, has been led this season by Edminster and classmate Ryan Cho.
Teams and players are gearing up for the state golf tournament to be held at the University of Maryland later this month.
Edminster, who finished with a score of 40, has already qualified for the state tournament scheduled for October 22-24 at the College Park Golf Course.
Qualifying for the state tournament is no easy task as coaches will attest to; it takes hard work, dedication and perseverance.
“It’s tough,” said Magruder head coach Richard Harris. “You’ve got to be good to make the states.”
This year, Richard Montgomery’s entire team has qualified for the state golf tournament, marking a first in the school’s rich history.
“Anytime you establish a school record that’s an all-time record it’s just fantastic,” said Richard Montgomery head coach Mike Kellinger, “so we’re really proud of that.”
This season, the Rockets feature a number of outstanding golfers including Emma Chen, Alyssa Cong, Hayden Lunenfeld, Thomas Sanders and Upaasna Yadav who have all qualified for the state tournament and the coed districts as well.
“Upaasna qualified as an individual,” said Chen, “while the others and I qualified as a team.”
Taylor Chao, Kaylen Pak and Isha Yardi are also part of Richard Montgomery’s history-making state tournament golf team this year.
“It’s really amazing,” said Chen, “especially as a freshman – our first year and we’re definitely hoping to go next year again and junior maybe senior year.”
Chen began playing golf six years ago and moved to Maryland from Georgia with her family when she was in elementary school.
“I’ve been playing golf since I was eight,” said Chen, “and I’ve been playing in tournaments outside of school as well.”
During the course of her career, she’s worked with various coaches including Jim Estes and Trillium Rose who have both played on the pro tour. Estes, the Director of Instruction at Olney Golf Park, co-founded the Salute Military Golf Association and Rose is the Director of Instruction at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville.
Since joining the golf program at Richard Montgomery, Chen has had the opportunity to work with the school’s longtime coaches John Fahrner and Kellinger.
“They’re awesome,” said Chen. “They really encourage us a lot and they help us a lot especially on the course; if you have one bad hole they tell you ‘It’s okay. You got this. Just move on. One shot at a time’ – something like that so they’re super nice and they’re just great.”