It has been 50 years since Frank Emmet started the Junior Golfer of Washington program at Georgetown Prep.
"Our program is unique because of its continuity," said the 76-year-old Emmet, who still runs teh program and has been nominated for the World Golf Hall of Fame in the distinguished service category. "It makes for an organized system unequalled anywhere in the country."
When Emmet was asked to build a golf course and start a team at Prep in 1927, there was no junior golf program of any kind in the area. He sent letters to every school within a 200 mile radious, inviting them to play at Prep. Early powers were Western, Bethesda-Chevy Chase and Prep as the program grew and then boomed following World War II.
Today, there are eight school leagues in spring golf, two comprised of private schools, two in Prince George's County, and four in Northern Virginia. League play in Montgomery County is held in the fall. There are also junior tournaments during the summer.
"Our tournament program has expanded to the point where between the close of school and Labor Day, there is just one open date," remarked Emmet. "Thus, there are opportunities for all junior golfers to improve themselves through summer play."
"The great value and success of this program is due to the effort of Mr. Emmet," said Fr. Joseph Kleinstuber, golf coach at St. John's and an alumni of the program from Gonzaga. "The result is one of the finest, if not the finest program in the country."
In the golden anniversary year of junior golf, Fr. Kleinstuber's team at St. John's is perhaps the finest in this area. The Cadets return their top five players from last year's 13-1 squad, which finished first in division two of the private school league.
"Because of our great balance, we will be very tough to beat in match play," said Fr. Kleinstuber. "It is bery unusual for one school to have five really experienced golfers, especially when one of them is as good as Clay Fitzgerald."
As a sophomore, Fitzgerald won the 1976 Harry Pitt Award as the area's outstanding junior golfer and was a high school All-America. He had a 12-2 record as St. John's number one man and won seven individual tournaments, including the schoolboy championship, the Sentinel tournament, and the Tournament of Champions at Reston.
"Playing as much golf as I did last summer has helped my confidence, and I am looking forward to this season," said Fitzgerad, who plays to a one handicap at kenwood Country Club. "The added year of experience should aid everyone on the team and prevent a close loss like the one to Georgetown Prep (5-4) in the 1976 playoffs."
Seniors Mike Russell and Greg Howard, junior Dick Holland, and sophomore Keith Carpenter were all regulars on the summer Junior circuit. Holland had an impressive string of seconds. Howard qualified for the U.S. Junior World tournament in San Diego.
St. John's chief competition in division two will come from Good Counsel. The Falcons, second in the league a year ago, return all but one of their first six. Gary Marlowe won the Middle Atlantic junior championship. Todd O'Reilly, Tom Loveless and Buddy Goetzger give the team depth.
In division one, several schools will attempt to challenge perennial champion Georgetwon Prep. The Hoyas won three straight Metropolitan team championships from 1973-75 and have captured eight since 1934. Last year, Prep finished second in the division but advanced to the final in the playoffs before losing to Bowie. The Hoyas have three strong golfers in Dan Colvin, who has a one handicap, Bob Perrimi and John Miller, both with six handicaps.
St. Stephen's has three players capable of shooting in the 70's with some consistency. The top man will probably be Dave Carroll, followed by Bill Gue and Dean Gilchrist. Ireton won the division a year ago, but lost its top five golfers by graduation. The returners are Andrew Schittulli and Jeff Zella.
Bullis has balance in its top four spots. Mike Hirschman and Tom Wolhfarth will battle for the first position, followed by John Cole and Jim Stevenson. The Bulldogs are hurt by the loss of senior Greg Carpouris, the defending district junior champion, who has used his four years of eligibility.
St. Albans will be hard pressed to repeat last year's 5-7 performance, even with Jack Skilling, one of the finest players in the area. Skilling, who has a two handicap, had an 8-1 match record, won the Maryland State junior open and the Billy Dettweiler four-ball championship, finished second in the Bobby Gorin tournament and 10th overall in the U.S. Junior Masters. Prince George's
Last year, Bowie became the first Prince George's team, since 1968 to win the Metropolitan team title, and the Bulldogs should again dominate the County's Northern division. Five of the top seven golfers return from the 14-1 squad including Kris Lovell, who moves to the number one spot.
Lovell has a 29-1 match record the last two seasons and placed third in the Maryland state tournament last fall.
He will followed by Mike McDonald, a former 14-15 Middle Atlantic champion, Dirk Schulze, Greg McCullough, and George Murphy.
High point was second in the division with an 11-3 mark but lost three of its starting six. The number one golfer will be Jerry Freishtat. Northwestern returns only John Munno, but has promising Pete Hiskey.
Fairmont Heights features long hitter Larry Rentz. Parkdale, third in the division in 1976, faces a major rebuilding effort. Elanor Roosevelt has the only woman coach in the area, Mary Mattioloi, but has a very young team.
In the Southern division, defending champion Friendly has a strong nucleus returning from its 10-3 team. Bill Timmons, who reduced his handicap to three last summer, will play number one followed by Steve Duca, Chuck Winegardner, Kent Woodruff and Bob Jones.
Crossland was second last season, but has only three golfers back. The top performers are Steve Hall and Scott Engebretson, who qualified for the state tournament last fall. The Caviliers also have one of the few varsity girl performers in the area, senior Kristi Lambert. Surrattsville should improve on its 5-5 record with the return of Chuck Baxley, Joe Sanders and Ronald Knowles. VIRGINIA
The Quantico High School Invitation tournament, which will be held this Monday and Tuesday, is usually a reliable indicator of who the top teams will be in Northern Virginia. West Springfield won at Quantico last spring and the Spartans went on to capture the state championship by defeating Mount Vernon.
"I think we'll have a good strong team again this season," said West Springfield coach Bill Lovell. "But we will know better after the tournament next week."
The Spartans return two of their top four from 1976, seniors Lance Hancock and Danny Dodd, who both play to a one or two handicap. Lovell also has two transfers. Mark Hartman from Hawaii and Greg Hine of California, giving West Springfield, winners of the Northern district for the past three years, a sound nucleus. Its main district competition will come from Lake Braddock, off to a fast 4-0 start including a win over Mount Vernon.
In the Gunston District, Mount Vernon has started slowly but seems to have the talent to return to the regionals. Transfer Steve Danielson holds the top position, followed by returnees Chris Keeley and Jeff Sorenson. Jefferson, was only 3-3-1 a year ago but has won its first two matches this season. The Colonials return five, including Barry Mahlberg, Chris Guenther and Jon Lyon. Fort Hunt, strong a year ago, has only Randy Butler back from the top four.
Fairfax won the Potomac District last season and the Rebels lost ojly two to graduation. Randy Banks, Frank Ferguson Jr. and Mark Walsh lead Fairfax and the sister combination of Michelle and Lena Jordan adds additional strength.
Oakton has Northern Virginia's best golfer, junior Tony DeLuca, who plays to a one handicap and was the runnerup in last year's Bobby Bower tournament. But the Cougars also lost six to graduation. Madison returns its top four, including Richard Montefusco and Tim Krouse and has two promising freshmen in Barrett Hubbard and David Hannah.
The Great Falls District appears to be the most wide open, with several teams in the running. Herndon won the district with a 7-1 mark last season, and the Hornets return Chris Cole, Paul Carey and JIm Morrissey.
Chantilly has gotten off to a slow start, but the Chargers have good players in Butch Taylor, Frank Del-Rocco, and Chuck Pelekey. Langley also has three golfers returning, Mike Morrocco, Tom Sanchez and Dave Pommerening. MONTGOMERY
With their scholastic season in the fall, golfters in Montgomery County are preparing for the tournament season. Churchill, which easily won the Maryland state tournament last October, has two fine golfers in Matt Sughrue and Regan O'Rouke. Sughrue advanced to the semifinals in last year's schoolboy tournament, was the medalist in local qualifying for the National Junior tournament, and with Jack Skilling, has won the Dettweiler four ball tournament three times.
O'Rourke was the medalist in last fall's state tournament and lost to Maryland's Jim Fitzgerald in the final of the 1976 Marvin Worsham tournament.