The defending Class 4A/3A state champion Hawks beat their team score from last fall’s season-ending tournament by 14 strokes, but ultimately tied for second place with Montgomery’s Thomas S. Wootton, behind 15th-time winner Winston Churchill. All four of Urbana’s golfers—sophomore Bach Ngo (10th place), senior Jacob Ferrari (12th), junior Tommy Coffey (20th) and sophomore Michael Snyder (23rd)—finished inside the top 25. The Hawks, who swept championship season leading into the state tournament with Frederick County, Central Maryland Conference and District I titles, shot 605 as a team over two days on the University of Maryland-College Park golf course, just two strokes shy of the leader.
Though the Hawks would have preferred to return home with first-place hardware, Coach Frank Ferrari said he couldn’t have asked for anything more from his players. On the first day of the state competition, Urbana shot a program-best 299, breaking 300 for the first time (in Ferrari’s decade-long tenure). And on the second day of the tournament, the Hawks had the lowest round of any team.
“Of course, when you’re that close, you have some disappointment; you’re not a competitive if you’re not thinking that you’re trying to win,” Ferrari said. “But out of all the high schools in the state, there’s only one state champion. And I’ll quickly tell you as a coach, to only focus on the fact that we didn’t win would be a disservice to the players, and the effort they put into it. We know what it’s like to be a state champion and we love that feeling. But to be able to play and be better than we were last year. That’s a huge win to me; that’s a huge accomplishment.
“Sometimes people look at it that if you don’t win the state championship, you didn’t have a successful year, but that’s not how I see it. I look at this season as a huge success. We showed consistency. We won the county tournament again (for the 11th straight time), we won the conference and districts (for the 10th time in the past 11 years).”
Snyder (county/districts) and Jacob Ferrari (conference) won individual tournament titles this fall as well. Sophomore AnPhi Le, who won her second consecutive girls’ county title earlier this season, finished eighth in the girls’ state finals. During her run to the girls’ individual title at the conference championship on Oct. 8, Le’s 1-over-par 73 was one shot over the women’s Maryland National Golf Course record.
“We didn’t know (about the record) until afterwards; the general manager was like, who’s that girl?” Ferrari said. “Every course has a record and it’s from a tournament round, it’s not like, ‘Oh, my buddy and I were out there and I shot a 66.’ This is in tournament conditions, in a competitive round. So, she shot one off the lead of any female who has played a competitive round on that course. That’s pretty cool.”