Sam Selverian had always considered himself a lacrosse player.
He fell in love with the sport in first grade and never wavered from his focus on it each year – until COVID.
“I have a buddy that plays on another high-school team in South Jersey and we started playing a lot after the pandemic, just as a way to get out,” Selverian said. “I always had a lot of fun with it and started to really prefer it over lacrosse to be honest, especially after my first two years [at Moorestown], where I just didn’t find myself enjoying lacrosse like I used to.
“I sort of just fell out of love with [it] and I thought that I should try out golf instead,” he added.
So instead of joining the lacrosse team at Moorestown High as he did his freshman and sophomore year, Selverian took up golf, unsure of what to expect.
Earlier this month, Moorestown won the NJSIAA Central/South Jersey Group 3 sectional title in yet another narrow victory during a season filled with nail-biting finishes for the Quakers.
The team finished with a sectional final score of 338, defeating defending champion Mainland by a single stroke, while Princeton and Colts Neck each scored 342 on the day.
Entering this season, head coach Tim O’Reilly was unsure of what to expect from his squad, with just two experienced returners back from last year. After securing two more victories in the 48 hours following the sectional match, Moorestown is now 11-0.
“I was unsure of what to expect before the season started, just based on seeing who graduated last season,” O’Reilly said. “But come tryouts, I was pleasantly surprised with how talented some of the new guys seemed to be.
“Even with that though, I honestly didn’t think we’d be sectional champions.”
Moorestown had won four consecutive sectional titles in the four seasons leading up to COVID, which canceled play in 2019-’20. The team then lost the 2020-’21 sectional title by a single stroke. For seniors on this year’s team such as Bobby Dominy, it was a sweet feeling to once again earn the title after a long three years.
“After we’d seen how we played in the matches leading up to sectionals, we knew we had a chance to win it, especially with how close we were last year,” Dominy said. “Everyone just kept getting better over the course of the season leading up to this, including quite a few big victories, and we started to believe in ourselves more and more as the season went along.”
Dominy led Moorestown with an 82 on the day at sectionals, good for fifth individually at the tournament. Other scorers for Moorestown included Selverian (82), Dan Cantwell (85) and Elvyn Liu (87).
The narrow distance between the team’s first and last scorers reflects what O’Reilly said was a sectional title won because of an entire team effort, not just one standout golfer who led the pack.
“We had four guys that all had pretty good scores, and that’s pretty big at sectionals,” he said. “We would not have won if we had a fourth player that laid an egg. It was truly a team effort.
“To have four guys come up with solid scores like that is remarkable.”