Haven Puts to Victory


David Ren & Kai Lincke, Opinions Editor & Staff Writer

In a field that has been dominated by the Main Line for the past several years, the Strath Haven golf team has struggled to rise above the competition. That all changed three years ago with the addition of Kevin Smith, David Merz, Nick Cardow and Alex Lombard to the team. This year, the dynamic group of seniors propelled the team through an undefeated season. After becoming the first Haven golf team to remain undefeated, coach Kevin Kochersperger’s team continued to pave the way for future Haven teams as the high school’s first golf team to qualify for districts and centrals.

After their incredible season, the team continued on to the PIAA District 1 Class AAA golf championship, where they claimed the win with 304 strokes – two below Pennsbury. The Smith siblings, senior Kevin and sophomore Grace, powered the team to victory. Kevin shot a 72 and Grace shot a 74. The Smiths’ powerful scores were bolstered with David Merz’s 80 and junior Jackson Debusschere’s 78 strokes. The team’s amazing day earned them the title and secured their place in Haven Athletics history. 

Recently, Panther Press editor David Ren sat down with Jackson Debusschere, one of the team’s star players, to discuss the incredible season and the future of the team.


Panther Press: The Strath Haven High School Golf Team of 2019-2020 has accomplished a lot (first Strath Haven Golf Team to go undefeated during the seasons, qualify for districts, and qualify for centrals). What does it feel like to be part of a team that accomplished so much?


Jackson Debusschere: It feels very exciting. We had high expectations going into the season, but it was thrilling to go this far and still be playing at this time of the year. It also feels kind of stressful—we’ve had a couple of good matchups and it’s hard to maintain our performance through every match of the year.


PP: What would you attribute the golf team’s success to?


JD: One of the biggest factors of our success is the team camaraderie. We have very good team spirit: everyone gets along well. Another factor was the people: our team is full of a lot of very talented and committed golfers who are led by a very encouraging and insightful coach. It also helps a lot when everyone in the team is a member at the home country club. All in all, team spirit and hard work and practice.


PP: How do you feel about the performance of next year’s golf team?


JD: I feel relatively confident about next year’s season, and I think that we’re going to do good (at least top three). It’s a shame that we’re losing the seniors, but that’s happened every year in every sport. And although they can’t be replaced, I think that we can make up for their absence through hard work and practice over the summer, and also by bonding with any new golfers.


PP: Do you have any goals for post-season golf?


JD: To get better and to compete in states once again.