By Jon Dinan
CALLICOON Some two dozen Sullivan West golf team graduates and a few coaches enjoyed a great day of golf at the Villa Roma Saturday, raising money toward new uniforms for the current Sullivan West golf team.
“They’re good guys. They’re all former golfers and they’re happy to see each other and to get out there and have a good time without taking it too seriously,” said Villa Roma Director of Golf Matt Kleiner.
For 27 years Kleiner has been at the Villa Roma (Sullivan West’s home course) and he knows every single golfer who has ever graduated from the school. In fact, he’s taught many of them and even coached the team for a short time.
It’s no coincidence that Sean Semenetz (2005), Sullivan West’s all-time best player and still its only Section IX champion shot a 69 to take first place, earning him a $60 gift certificate in the Villa Roma Pro Shop.
“It was a great time. It’s a good event for us, and I think it'll get better and better,” said Semenetz, now living and working in Philadelphia. “Hopefully we can get a few more from my class next year,” he added.
In addition to the individual competition, there was a team event matching different classes. The class of 2007, led by Ben Kleiner’s birdie-birdie finish edged out the Class of 2005.
The tournament’s only female participant, Jillian Fife (2011) of Callicoon shot a respectable 89 and had a beautiful second shot on No. 4 landing her bright pink ball within 10 feet of the pin. She missed the birdie putt by inches however, and settled for par.
When the last group finished, participants were treated to a barbecue dinner.
Winners of the closest to the hole competions were Erik Kubenik (1992) of Jeffersonville on hole No. 9 and Craig Smith of Cochecton on 18. Smith is Sullivan West’s Modified Golf Coach.
Sullivan West assistant principal Scott Haberli, won the Coaches-Staff competition with an 85.
As Kleiner handed out the various prizes, he thanked all the coaches for helping out and announced that next year they’ll be opening the tournament to all Sullivan West alumni.
Kleiner also thanked the six event sponsors: the Sullivan County Democrat; Kohler Lumber; Siggy's Auto Body; Steve and Peg Luty; Matthew’s Golf and the Villa Roma Resort.