Urbana High School sophomores Michael Snyder and Anphi Le won individual titles at the Frederick County golf tournament hosted by Clustered Spires Golf Course on Sept. 17, leading the defending Class 4A/3A state champion Hawks to their 11th consecutive county title.
Snyder shot a 4-under-par 68 for the lowest score on the boys’ side and Le, who finished tied for fourth overall, carded a 73 for her second straight county girls’ individual trophy.
Though Urbana swept the county championship this fall for the second year in a row, it’s the Hawks’ depth that truly sets them apart, said 11th-year coach Frank Ferrari. All five members of the team’s starting lineup at counties posted scores inside the top seven—though only the top four scores counted toward the team’s total. Senior Jacob Ferrari, who shot a team-best 152 for fourth place in individual scoring at last year’s state competition, finished two strokes behind Snyder at 70. William Coffey and Bach Ngo followed closely with scores of 73 and 74, respectively.
“We had a player whose score we didn’t use, who finished ahead of 95 percent of the field,” Frank Ferrari said. “Our strength has always been our depth. Every year, someone graduates, people move on, and we get new players. Our new players are stepping in well and are just as competitive; our depth is where we really separate ourselves.”
Iron sharpens iron, according to the old proverb, and the parity has cultivated a productive environment in which the Hawks continually push each other to new heights. Urbana’s depth also allows for more freedom, Ferrari said. No one player has to shoulder the burden of trying to carry an entire team, and if someone has an off day, they know their teammates can pick up the slack.
Urbana began its state title defense with the Class 4A/3A District Championship held Sept. 24 at Black Rock Golf Course in Hagerstown (results were unavailable at press time). There, each team entered five players, with only the top four scorers advancing to states as a team. If the fifth player meets the predetermined qualifying standard, he or she can compete at the season-ending state championship as an individual.
Though the Hawks are on pace to sweep championship season—they’ll go for their fifth Central Maryland Conference title on Oct. 8, with states scheduled for Oct. 28-30—they don’t take any of their success for granted. Past performances don’t dictate future performances, Ferrari said; each year’s team is completely different and must carve its own path.
While Urbana is well aware of the target on its back, the Hawks consider the golf course their only opponent, focusing only on factors within their control.
“We want to be defined by our preparation and our effort,” Ferrari said. “When we talk about our team, we (emphasize) that every shot counts. If you shoot an 80, that might help us because an 80 is better than an 81. You don’t have to score some crazy number, but you just can’t give up and mail it in. You have to stay focused for the whole round and if you feel like you don’t have (your best) on that day, then you do it for the team.”