by Tom Utescher
In these parts, the high school golf season starts and ends early, and after just a week of practice, Mount St. Joseph Academy played its first official Athletic Association of Catholic Academies match last Wednesday.
The August 23 contest took the Magic to Bucks County and the par-36 front nine at Spring Mill Country Club, where they easily overcame host Villa Joseph Marie, 179-204.
Mount St. Joe is the 14-time defending champion in the AACA. Last fall the Mounties won the PIAA District 1 Class AAA (large school) championship, and finished third at the state tournament in York, PA.
Olivia Brogan and Maya Trujillo are the senior co-captains for the Mount team this year, and the other 12th-graders are Ciara Morrissey and Grace Quinones.
The juniors are Brianna Mahon and Lia Priolo; Mahon is the younger sister of the senior leader of last year’s MSJ team, Caitlin Mahon. Sophomore Olivia Wirsching gave a strong rookie-season performance last fall, and this year she’s joined by classmates Sarah Spears and Jill Baum.
The three ninth-graders out for the team this fall are Sofia Gambone, Clare Gimpel, and Reilly Kelley (from Wyncote’s Ancillae Assumpta Academy). Gimpel is a Norwood Fontbonne Academy graduate and is the younger sister of former Mount standout Emily Gimpel (’10), who is now playing on the LPGA Symetra Tour.
Last Wednesday in the Villa Joe match, Wirsching led the entire field with a round of 43. Since there was a third team participating (Nazareth Academy was playing against Villa Joseph Marie, but not the Mount), the top four scores counted toward the official tally for each team.
Gimpel and Brogan each came in with a score of 45, and rounding out the MSJ team score was a 46 from Trujillo. Mahon went around in 47 strokes, and Morrissey finished in 52, still better than almost all of the golfers from the other schools.
Now in his second year as head coach for Mount St. Joseph, John Mischler is the father of former Mount linkster Nicole Mischler (’13). This year he’s sharing the job with Grace Quinones’ father, Jules, who is a member of the executive committee of the Golf Association of Philadelphia and also has experience as a course rater.