The Great Neck High School Boys Golf Team, coached by James Millevoi, has been in a state of rebuilding for the past few years, but things are looking up this season.
Three Great Neck team members qualified to participate in the Nassau County Tournament on May 21 at Eisenhower Park. Teammates Luke Huang, a seventh grader and the number two starting player for the team; Dylan Solomon, a sophomore at North High and Great Neck Record sports reporter; and South High senior Raymond Gresalfi played on the White Course, alongside 105 other boys from the county.
The top 30 boys advancing to day two included Gresalfi, along with Jacob Fein from Port Washington, Manhasset’s Adam Xaio and Syosset’s Ryan Millevoi, the Great Neck coach’s son. The boys battled it out on Eisenhower’s Red Course to earn one of eight spots, and a chance to represent Section VIII, in Ithaca at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course at Cornell University on Sunday, June 2, and Monday, June 3.
In the end, three players tied for the eighth spot on the state team. Gresalfi fought for a chance to return to states for the third time, making it his freshman and junior years. After a clutch putt to par the second playoff hole on 18, Gresalfi became one of the eight players to represent Section VIII in Ithaca.
“Making the state team for a third time was definitely special this year,” beamed Gresalfi. “My freshman year I was too young to understand the significance of it, and last year I put together a very solid second round to securely make the top nine in counties.”
Gresalfi said that this year he struggled both days on Eisenhower’s White and Red courses.
“After the 17th hole on the second day, I thought for sure my chances of making it were gone, and I really tried to focus on enjoying my last hole since I believed it would be my last,” he said. “Getting in that playoff due to some higher numbers in the final group felt like a second chance, and I did not want to let that opportunity slip away. I felt very comfortable and put myself in a position with a putt to make it to states, with my family and friends all surrounding the 18th green—and it dropped. It’s the kind of moment you dream of, and I got to live it, so that was very memorable for sure. I think I watched the video 100 times that night.”
Of the 99 players competing in the 11 sections of the state tournament, Gresalfi placed 22nd with a two-day total of 157. Section VIII finished in fifth place.
Next year, the senior will be attending Brown University, where he will focus on studying engineering.
“Walking on the golf team is definitely a goal, if I get the opportunity to do so,” he said.
This summer, he will play in some regional qualifiers and other tournaments, while working in a golf shop at Candlewood Lake Club in New Milford, CT, and working on his game.
Reflecting on playing in his last match, Gresalfi said, “It’s very hard to believe that this six-year journey is now over. The people I’ve met and the lessons I’ve learned during my time on the Great Neck Golf Team have been life changing and are truly a part of who I am. Coach Millevoi has made this an unforgettable high-school career,and I’m going to miss it a whole lot.”