Niagara Gazette — The boys' high school golf season resumes today after a seven-month break with the Section VI state qualifier at Diamond Hawk Golf Course in Cheektowaga.
Grand Island's Kevin Borowicz and Aaron Schauger, Niagara-Wheatfield's Zach Dubuc and John Liberti, and Starpoint's Tyler Durkin and Will Hoffman will look to pick up where excellent falls left off in a field of 66. Each player will play 18 holes, and the top 20 will play another nine holes. The top eight cumulative scorers will make the Section VI state team.
Borowicz and Schauger are the veterans of the group, having competed in the qualifier last spring. Borowicz, only a junior, placed third and advanced to the state championship, where he finished 78th.
Borowicz was named the Niagara Gazette Player of the Year in fall after averaging a Niagara Frontier League-low 37 in league play. Schauger, a senior, was right behind him at 37.8, and GI coach Craig Warthling said both have a good shot of making the state team.
"(This year) if one of them had a 37, other had a 36," he said. "They're very comparable. ... If they both play well, they both should qualify. I don't see why not. They've played enough golf, so the pressure isn't there."
N-W's duo faces different circumstances. Dubuc and Liberti, both seniors, are three-sport athletes in the middle of spring seasons. While Dubuc prepares for a sectional lacrosse game on Tuesday, Liberti will have to play a postseason baseball game this evening after golfing.
"They've both been out to Diamond Hawk a couple times just to get the lay of the land," N-W coach Tim Codd said. "... Realistically, they should come in somewhere around 80, within a stroke or two. Traditionally the 18-hole cut is 82 to 83. If they come in around 80, they have a decent shot at (getting to states). If you go out and shoot another 38 to 40, your chances of making states are pretty good."
Joining the group will be North Tonawanda sophomore Devin Donohue, Lockport seniors Alex Weaver and Brandon Le, and Kenmore East's senior-junior duo of Mike Davern and Ricky Shotwell. The NFL-champion Bulldogs will also send junior Adam Kroll, who made the field as an alternate.Follow Gazette sports reporter Mike Meiler on Twitter @mikemeiler for updates on your local teams.