Earning a Place in the National Championship
For the second time since 2007, the County College of Morris (CCM) Titans Golf Team has won both the conference and region championships in the same season, earning them a place in the national championship.
The team’s overall record for the year was 36 – 1 with the only loss coming at the hands of Ocean County College by two strokes back in mid-March. Galloping Hills Golf Course was a special place for the team this spring, with both championships being played at the course. The first was the Garden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) Championships on April 23 with sophomore Kyle Kepler, of Wharton, leading the way with a first place finish shooting a 74, followed by sophomore Tommy Apostolico, of Sparta, at 79, and freshmen Nick Axelson, of Succasunna, and Ricky Christensen, of Little Falls, both shooting 79 for a 19 stroke victory over Ocean County College. After tying Bucks County Community College in Pennsylvania at the Region XIX qualifier on May 2 at High Bridge Hills Golf Club, (thanks to freshmen Ryan Ruban, of Oak Ridge, with a score of 78), both teams became the number one seed for the Region Championships held on May 7 and 8. Day one proved to be a moving day for the team with Kepler again leading the way with a 75 and taking the team to a 10 stroke advantage going into day two. It was freshmen Christensen and Axelson who came through on day two shooting 75 and 78 respectively that sealed the deal. The Titans won the event by 20 strokes, which earned them a berth in the NJCAA Division III National Championships to be held at Chautauqua Golf Club in New York June 4 – 9.
Post season honors for team members consisted of Kepler being named to the GSAC 1st team and All Region 2nd team; Apostolico to the GSAC 1st team and All Region 3rd team; Nick Axelson to the GSAC 2nd team and All Region 2nd team; and Christensen to the GSAC 2nd team and All Region 1st team.
Photo: (l-r) Assistant Coach Mike Mrugal, Ryan Ruban, Nick Axelson, Kyle Kepler, Tommy Apostolico, Ricky Christensen and Head Coach Jim Chegwidden