The Caesar Rodney golf team enters the state tournament fresh off winning the Henlopen Conference championship, and it is looking to keep building momentum.
Caesar Rodney High School golf team head coach Ryan Fuller likes to keep the goals of his team simple. Sure, he wants the team to do the best they can, but in the process he’d like them to keep a good head on their shoulders.
With the state tournament starting yesterday, Fuller only has one simple goal in mind for his squad – to do better than they did last year.
“Last year we finished fourth in the state, so I think a modest goal for our team would be just to finish better than fourth,” he said. “That, to me, would be a successful showing.”
The Riders are ranked No. 3 in the tournament just behind Salesianum at No. 1 and Charter School of Wilmington at No. 2. However, they have a clear advantage in that the state tourney is being played at their home course of Maple Dale.
Fuller said the other teams in the state will pose a big challenge but the location of the tournament will definitely be a factor.
“We’re looking forward to having [our team] on their home turf,” he said. “Everyone is excited about it and excited about having a great tournament.”
CR will enter the tournament after winning the Henlopen Conference tournament last week.
Despite the home course advantage and high ranking, Fuller said his squad needs to be ready for anything.
He said golf is not like other sports, in that the smallest bounces can completely change the complexion of the day. Therefore, he knows his team can’t take anything for granted.
“Whenever you go into these tournaments nothing is certain until the scores are up on the board,” Fuller said. “We are confident going into this tournament. We hoped to win the conference and we did. Now we need to come out like that again.”
The Riders’ coach said he will not look to one particular golfer in his starting six, but instead is expecting all six of them - Chris Blades, senior; Brian Gibbons, sophomore; Devon Ripley, junior; Dave Coar, senior; Tyler Carpenter, sophomore; and Nathaniel “Nino” Rosal, freshman - to rise to the occasion.
Gibbons, who finished second in the conference tournament after losing in a playoff, hopes to build upon his stellar showing last week.
“I just want to keep that level up and bring the same thing in the state tournament,” Gibbons said. “The conference tournament was exciting but now I need to focus on this tournament.”