Broadalbin-Perth girls golf squad looking to make sectionals for first time in team history
Three years ago, as schools were seeking a return to a sense of normalcy in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Section 2 of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) deemed golf a safe and contactless sport for student-athletes to participate in. It was one of the only sports allowed to resume play at that time, and Section 2 initiated a girls golf league to create parity with the existing boys league. In an effort to maximize opportunities for all students, Broadalbin-Perth created its first girls golf team.
Under the tutelage of boys golf coach Tony Mucilli, that first team consisted of five freshman girls. Some had played with family members or in PGA junior leagues and some hadn’t really ever played seriously, but they had one thing in common: They were all very close friends. Now seniors, Mairead Marsden, Haley Tomlinson, Giayna Abel, and Victoria Tambasco have been part of the team all four years of its existence, while the fifth original team member decided to pursue other sports.
During the first year, they wore masks, played under modified rules, and played many par-three courses. In 2022, the modified rules were lifted, the game got more serious, and the players had to step up their game, practicing during the off-season and working to improve their swings.
Their hard work has paid off. Over the past three years, the team has won a Foothills Council title outright and tied for the title, competing against teams from Amsterdam, Queensbury, Gloversville, and Johnstown. Marsden, Abel, and Tomlinson have individually advanced to the Section 2 tournament, with Marsden making multiple appearances.
As the team became more competitive, B-P Director of Health, Physical Education, and Athletics Tucker Gifford recognized that Mucilli needed help in order for both the boys and girls teams to reach their full potential. That’s when six-grade teacher and avid golfer Meg Marsden stepped in as an assistant coach.
This season, Meg Marsden has taken over as the head coach of the girls golf team while Mucilli remains head coach of the boys team; they continue to assist and support each other. B-P’s girls golf program has grown to 13 varsity players and three modified players — more than five times as many players as any other school in the Foothills Council.
The four seniors who started it all are looking to finish their final season on a high note and they’ve set a goal to make the Section 2 tournament as a team. In order to go as a team to sectionals, two members of the team need to qualify individually and a total of four teammates have to be able to compete. Individual golfers qualify for sectionals by finishing four rounds in match play with a score no higher than 15 over par, two at the golfer’s home course and two at other courses.
“We’ve already had four girls shoot sectional rounds last week, and hopefully this week is even better,” Meg Marsden said. “We’re looking forward to a successful season and a bright future for the B-P girls golf team.”