Dropping down from the American Division to the Liberty division seems to have done the trick for Montclair Kimberley’s golf program.

The Cougars finished with a 12-3 overall record and an 11-1 record in Super Essex Conference Liberty this year.

It was a far cry from going 3-13 in 2021, when the team did not win a match in the American Division.

This spring Cougars head coach Jeffrey Beer could not have been more pleased with the results. "Yes, very happy," Beer said. "The team got better and better."

With the 11-1 conference mark, Montclair Kimberley tied West Orange for first in the division.

In addition, the Cougars came in ninth in the Essex County Tournament out of a field of 17 teams. The only Liberty team ahead of MKA was West Orange, which finished seventh. 

Montclair Kimberley came in third in Non Public North B, behind only Newark Academy and Morristown Beard.

"We knew it would be a challenge to beat out Mo Beard and Newark Academy, so there was no real disappointment," Beer said. 

In the state tournament, senior captain Bryce Cherry had the best score for Montclair Kimberley, as he shot a 77.

One of the better victories for Beer and the Cougars came on the last day of the season, May 23. 

In a battle of neighborhood rivals, Montclair Kimberley outscored Montclair, 162-175 (lower score wins). "Best day of the year was the last day of competition, when the team had a win against Montclair High School from the American Division," the coach said.

Cherry, freshman Griffin Lalonde and sophomore Russell Francis were at their best against the Mounties.

Francis came to play with a 36, while Cherry and Lalonde each fired a 39 as the Cougars peaked at the end of the season.

"Our top three players were solid all year, and we got support from the rest of the players when we needed it," the coach said.

Cherry, Lalonde and Francis were named to the All SEC Liberty Division first team. Cherry averaged a score of 41.7 for nine holes to lead the Cougars, while Lalonde was just behind him at 41.9. Francis averaged 43.8.

Cherry sliced five strokes off his average from 2021, while Francis cut more than five strokes off his.

In addition, sophomore Aaron Jimenez made the All SEC Liberty Division honorable mention list.