Monday, March 27, 2023

Youthful VASJ golfers have the drive for success

Villa Angela-St. Joseph coach John Iosue is convinced that if golf tournaments were won with hard work, passion and desire to improve, the Vikings would be undefeated state champions this fall.

As it is, tournaments and matches are still won with making shots and making putts, and VASJ is a somewhat inexperienced team that is continuing to work to put the ball in the hole on a consistent basis.

“I have a great group of kids,” Iosue said. “They work so hard and go above and beyond a lot of times even what I ask them to do. They want to get better and I believe even if we struggle a little early on, we will improve as the season moves on. To be honest, as a coach, that is all I can ask for from this team.”

Iosue has two relatively inexperienced seniors, one talented junior coming off surgery and a handful of sophomores and freshmen. Early struggles on difficult courses against top-level competition has not discouraged Iosue, who believes the Vikings’ best golf is ahead during league play and into the postseason.

Iosue commented on each VASJ Viking to help preview the 2015 season:

Anthony Turk, senior – “Anthony, although he is a senior, this is only his second year playing golf. He has come a long way in two years and could be a sleeper when tournament time rolls around.”

Brandon O'Donnell, senior – “Brandon was in a car accident as a sophomore and was unable to play. But, he has showed some promise at the start this year and led us to our first match victory against Cornerstone Christian with a 44.”

Noah Newlon, junior – “Noah is a three-year player and my No. 1 golfer. We had a slight setback this year with hernia surgery so he hasn't been able to play yet but with his great work ethic I am looking for him to be someone to be reckoned with by the end of the season.”

Jalen Cruz, sophomore – “Jalen has only been playing golf for two years and he has his up and downs as most new young golfers do, but is the future of our program.”

Collin Green, sophomore – “Collin has great work ethic and is consistently working on his swing. If his efforts are rewarded, so will our program.”

Adam Stauffer, sophomore – “Adam is a raw talent with good days and bad, but I have a feeling by the time he is a senior you will know who he is.”

Matt McGinn, freshman – “Matt is a young, talented golfer but needs to get a little stronger. All the tools are there for a bright future.”

Brian Williams, freshman – “Brian is a first-year golfer, but has already taken to the sport with enthusiasm. I look forward to helping him grow as a golfer and see where he can go.”

Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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