The Caesar Rodney Riders golf team had what many would call “The Perfect Season” in 2012 as they earned “Team of the Year” honors.
The Riders won the Northern Division championship en route to defeating Southern Division-winner Delmar for the conference crown, where senior Dylan Chessher also won the individual title.
Caesar Rodney concluded the golf season by winning their second-straight state championship, set a state scoring record of 292 at their home course, Wild Quail, and junior Joe Visalli captured the individual state trophy.
The Riders finished with a perfect record of 16-0.
“We were very lucky this year,” said Coach John Newman, in his second year with the golf team. “We had eight golfers capable of playing any day.”
In golf, where only four golfers’s scores are used during a given match, that makes for quite the consistent squad.
“My teammates are practically family,” Chessher said. “We’d do anything for each other. It’s special. Coach Newman really knows how to help us get better.”
Newman, who’s been coaching at Caesar Rodney for 37 years, described practices as quite competitive as players battled to earn the final few spots for each match.
“The players enjoy the challenges and love to play the game,” Newman said. “They all want to win.”
Along with Visalli and Chessher, the Riders also received significant contributions from seniors Francis Mangubat and Jacob Hoover, as well as junior Samantha Leite and freshman Matt Rosal.
Mangubat and Leite finished in the top ten at the state tournament.
“It just depended on who was hot,” said state-champion Joe Visalli. “At the end of the year, we came together and just supported each other.”
While the Riders lose three top seniors from this year’s team, Newman and his returning players don’t expect much drop off for next season.
Although Visalli hopes to capture his first individual conference championship after finishing second twice, his main goals remain focused on more team trophies.
“We just want a repeat,” Visalli said.