Falcon golfers gain experience at state tournament

By: Redd E. Patrick
   The Monroe High School golf team did not have high expectations when it competed at the NJSIAA Central Jersey/South Jersey Group II State Championships on Tuesday, held at the Centerton Country Club in South Jersey.
   With the experience the young Falcons gained, however, that should change next year.
   Playing a freshman, sophomore and a junior along with two seniors, Monroe shot a score of 364 (the low four scores count). Monroe finished 16th out of 18 teams. Moorestown of South Jersey won with a score of 311.
   Justin Rohrig, a junior, led the way with a score of 87. Senior Anthony Barbato shot 90, sophomore Danny Kunigonis fired a 91, while freshman Doug Rohrig scored 96. Senior Steve Loufek’s 97 did not count toward the team score.
   Considering the school hadn’t qualified for the states in some time, the experience was all that mattered.
   "We didn’t really go down there with goals or expectations,” said Justin Rohrig. "We went down there to enjoy the day and take in the experience. I think next year, it will be different. I think we will be hungrier next year knowing what it’s all about. This was big for me to play in this tournament.”
   Justin Rohrig turned in nine scores of 44 and 43.
   "I was very nervous,” said Rohrig. "It was great to be there, but it was so nerve-wracking. After the first few holes, I was able to settle down. I was even able to make a birdie about halfway through my round. I hit a shot to the back of the green and I was able to chip in from about 15 yards out. Looking back, I think I could have played better, but it was a great experience.”
   By putting together a 12-3 record during the season and winning the Blue Division title of the Greater Middlesex Conference, the Falcons were able to move into first round action of the GMC Tournament. On Tuesday, Monroe will play the winner of Cardinal McCarrick vs. Bishop Ahr vs. South River. The winner will move into the overall GMCT championship.
   "Playing in the state tournament will help us at the counties,” said Rohrig. "It was such a big-time atmosphere down there, so I really think that experience should help us.”
   If not, there’s always next year.