H.S. Golf: Gammaitonis support each other in their chase for an individual title

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VASSALBORO — After the MPA Team Golf Championships, the team aspect is thrown out the window, as the mentality shifts toward the Individual Championships and teammates can be considered competitors like opponents from rival schools.

For the Gammaitoni siblings — Markella and Demtri — it will be business as usual this week as the prepare for the Individual Championships at Natanis Golf Course on Saturday.

They will be both competing, but the duo from St. Dominic Academy won’t be competing against each other. Demetri, a sophomore, will be competing for the Class C boys’ title, while Markella, a senior, will be in the statewide girls’ championship.

Going after two different championships will allow them to prepare like it’s an ordinary round in the summer.

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“It’s nice to have that support,” Demetri said. “When you have bad day when you are playing with her, she brings you back up.”

Demetri also said he hopes he offers Markella support when she is having a bad day on the course.

That support that Demetri speaks of is something that has been passed down from one Gammaitoni sibling to another, as they are the third and fourth Gammaitoni to be a part of the St. Dom’s golf team. Older brothers Manoli (graduated in 2015) and Nicholas (graduated in 2016) passed their knowledge down to Markella.

“Probably that there’s always going to be more golf to play, that you shouldn’t (be down) on yourself on the bad strokes,” Markella said of her older brothers’ best advice. “Just focus on the next shots and even if you did have a bad shot, focus on the next one and do what you can.

Markella said she hadn’t taught Demetri too much on golf technique, but she focused more on the mental side of the game of her younger brother.

“I mean, he’s a pretty strong golfer, so, as far as golf goes, I haven’t taught him much,” Markella said. “I think I have taught him to focus more because he can stray away from golf — focus and forgetting the bad shots.”

While they offer each other support, there’s still that sibling rivalry there as they have been mostly the Saints No. 1 and No. 2 golfers this season, helping to lead them to a 9-3 record in the regular season.

“They are always kidding around, jabbing at each other a little bit,” St. Dom’s coach Michael Lacombe said. “They really play well together. They feed off each other pretty well and it’s a good dynamic all away around.

Markella said she “trash talks” a bit when they play a round together, especially after they tie each other on one hole and she shoots a lower score on the next.

Demetri is a competitive person in general and wants to be on top of anything he does. It may be the brotherly nature, but he doesn’t want to beat his older sister too badly.

“That’s always there, even if you are playing with a friend in a practice round, you want to beat them,” Demetri said. “As along as we are right next to each other, it’s good.”

On Saturday, it a balancing act on focusing on their own game and wondering how the other is doing.

“I mean, I will be definitely be worried about my own game, trying to focus on the best that I can,” Markella said. “I am always going to wonder how’s he’s doing in the back of my mind. Like, oh I wonder how he did on this hole or how’s he doing on the back nine or the front nine. I will always wonder and hopefully I will be able to catch one or two holes if I finish early to cheer him on a bit.”

She did that this past weekend as she was one of the first groups to finish at the Team Championships. After recording her score which was a 92, she went from the scoring table to the ninth green on Natanis’ Arrowhead course across the street to watch Demetri finish up his round of 85 as the Saints finished in a tie for third in the Class C Championships.

Both of them will be competing again on the Arrowhead course as the the Class C State Championship and the Girls’ Individual Championship are both held on that course. The Class A and B Championships are held on Natanis’ other course, Tomahawk.

“We are pretty familiar with Arrowhead anyways,” Lacombe said. “We play it several times a throughout the year in practice rounds. When we were in the Mountain Valley Conference, they had to qualify here as well. The good thing is they are both very comfortable with the course and know the course pretty well.”

For Demetri, it will be different the next two seasons with Markella graduating in the spring. He may have a chance to pass down what his older siblings have taught him about competing in high school golf as there’s one more Gammaitoni sibling on the way.

Rodanthi is currently a seventh grader and her freshman year of high school will be Demetri’s senior year.

“I hope so, I hope she continues golfing,” Demetri said. “It’s her first year (playing) this year. Hopefully she continues.”

nfournier@sunjournal.com

St. Dom’s Demetri Gammaitoni chips from behind trees on the Arrowhead course’s ninth hole during the state team golf championships Saturday at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro.

Martella Gammaitoni of St. Dominic Academy in Lewiston talks with her coach, Michael Lacombe, during the 2016 Class C Team Championship at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro. 

Demetri, left and Markella Gammaitonin, right at Natanis Golf Course for the MPA Team Championships this past Saturday

Markella Gammaitoni competing at the MPA Team Championships this past Saturday on the Arrowhead Course at Natanis.

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