Falcons win NFL Tournament, fifth straight league title; win streak to 91 matches
By David Yarger
It's been about four years since the Niagara-Wheatfield golf team has had any number other than zero in the loss column. On Tuesday, at the Niagara Frontier League Golf Tournament at Willowbrook Golf Course, that number remained zero, as the Falcons took home its fifth straight NFL title by shooting a league-best 407.
Winning the tournament added eight more victories to the team's record, giving the Falcons a perfect 23-0 total. The eight wins also increased the team's historic winning streak to 91, which coach Tim Codd said is one of the longest streaks in the country.
The team was led by sophomore Anthony Delisanti, who, for the second year in a row, medaled with a low round of 73 (1-over). Last year, Delisanti medaled by shooting a 3-under 69.
"It'll hit me soon," Delisanti said of his second-straight victory at Willowbrook. "It's an honor and a privilege to win this two years in a row."
Delisanti added, he enjoys playing at Willowbrook, because "I've been playing here basically my whole life and I practice here all the time. It just fits my eye and I love playing here."
Delisanti laughed about not besting his score from the previous year, but nevertheless said the victory was a nice feeling.
"It's really impressive," Codd said of Delisanti's round. "It all goes back to how hard he works outside of tournaments and outside of the league matches, practices - (he) plays all the time and he's really determined to be the best golfer on the golf course every time he steps out there."
Codd's squad of six golfers (Anthony and RJ Delisanti, Nolan Codd, Adam Liberti, Chris Cacciatore and Dom Rotunno) all played well, as no golfer carded a round higher than 87, which Codd was fairly impressed with on a day where the course was playing longer due to wet conditions.
"I was just happy the boys played well today," Codd said. "Top to bottom everyone played well, which was really nice. Everybody was under 90 and I was really proud of the way they came out and played."
Following Anthony, Nolan Codd finished second shooting a 76; Liberti carded an 85; RJ carded an 86; and Rotunno and Cacciatore carded 87. With their respective rounds, Anthony, Nolan, RJ and Liberti clinched spots in the Section VI tournament. Rotunno and Cacciatore also played in the alternate playoff for a possible spot, but were defeated.
Going back to the winning streak of 91 matches, the last time the team took a loss was at the 2014 NFL Tournament. Going back further, the last time the team lost a dual match was in 2013. Anthony was speechless when asked of how it felt to keep the streak alive.
"It's amazing. We still have, I think, three more to go to beat the record, but 91 is pretty cool," he said.
Trailing behind N-W, Kenmore East finished second with a score of 424; Lewiston-Porter, third, with a score of 455; Niagara Falls, fourth, 463; Grand Island, fifth, 486; Kenmore West, sixth, 491; North Tonawanda, seventh, 518; Lockport, eighth, 530; and CSAT, ninth, 582.
Along with the quartet of sectional qualifiers from N-W, Zach Golibersuch of Kenmore East qualified by shooting a 79; Noah Kindzia, Niagara Falls, 83; Ben Zenosky, Kenmore East, 84; Jaxon Hummel, North Tonawanda, 84; and Ryan Hahn, Kenmore East, 86, all qualified for the Section VI tournament. Alex Reardon of Kenmore East also won the playoff for the final alternate spot.
As victors of the NFL, Niagara-Wheatfield will also head to the Section VI Tournament in the spring as a team. The team concept was a new part added to the tournament last spring, which crowns a true Section VI team champion. The league champions from the respective divisions in Western New York will all have a chance to claim the Section VI title. Codd said the same six golfers who competed Tuesday will all likely compete in the tournament.
The Section VI Golf Tournament is May 20.
Nolan Codd tees off at Willowbrook Golf Course Tuesday
Anthony Delisanti putts during his round Tuesday.