By Mitch Silver
The Rye Neck Golf team endured a very difficult season, registering only one win in their first eight matches. Head Coach Mark Canno, in his 17th year at the helm, fielded an extremely young team, with an eighth grader, two ninth graders, and two tenth graders in the starting lineup.
But the Girls’ and Boys’ Sectional Championships were another matter altogether. On June 2, sophomore Chelsea Wang sparkled at Whippoorwill Country Club, shooting an 81 that earned her third place in all of Section 1. A few days later, eighth grader Lucas Rizo-Patron, who during the regular season tied the Rye Neck nine-hole record of 34 (one under par) set by Brian Bartow, qualified by playing the Westchester Country Club course among the low 15. That earned him a place in the championship round the next day at Wykagyl Country Club, where he tied for fourth in the Section by shooting 80, five strokes behind the winner.
“I knew he was going to be very good,” said Canno, “but Lucas has far exceeded expectations. It wasn’t a fluke: in addition to his 34, Lucas has had rounds of 37, 35, 36, 36, 40, and 38 this season.”
He’s not the only phenom Canno will be able to count on next season. Ninth grader David Goldin McCarthy improved every match and shot a 40 at Hampshire Country Club.
Canno was thrilled with the way the campaign ended. “We had strong contributions from our three senior captains, Jackson Hillyer, Natalie Goldberg, and Sofia Palacios.
It was an amazing season for Chelsea and Lucas. For Rye Neck to have two players finish in the top four in Section 1 is incredible.”