Morghan Dutil of Turner hits a tee shot at the Maine Junior Golf Championship in July. Dutil has helped Leavitt to an undefeated season heading into Saturday’s Class B team state championship. Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald

Several area teams will be teeing it up this weekend at Natanis this weekend for the MPA golf team state championships.

Lewiston and Edward Little qualified for the Class A state tournament, Leavitt will compete in Class B, and St. Dom’s, Dirigo and Monmouth will vie for the Class C championship.

The Class A and B tournaments will take place on Natanis’ Tomahawk Course, while Class C will be on the Arrowhead Course.

The state qualifiers were played earlier this week or last week, so most teams have been spending the past few days fine-tuning their skills.

“I have aligned them in practice doing different things and different little events here and there,” St. Dom’s coach Chris Whitney said. “At the same time, the season goes so quick, it’s a great time to fine-tune some things on the range. This year, through the school, I was able to have an assistant coach. Bob Darling is my assistant, so it’s been cool to have that extra coach, and he’s one of the better teaching instructors around. It’s been great for two weeks, where there aren’t any matches, where he can fine-tune the kids’ swings.”

St. Dom’s won the Western Maine Conference championship Sept. 25, which was the last competitive round the Saints played.

Edward Little’s break came between its playoff match Sept. 23, which it lost to rival Lewiston by one stroke, 175-176, and the KVAC qualifier this past Tuesday.

“For that week and half, you are basically trying to fine-tune some things,” EL coach Chris Merrill said. “We were working on some things in their swings because they were unhappy how they played in the playoff match. There were some things that they were working on, whether it was (the swing), and a lot of it had to do with our putting.

“So, we did a lot of stuff on the putting greens, just some drills there. That week and a half we just broke everything down from putting to the drivers.”

Meanwhile, Lewiston has been playing some formats seen on weekends at local country clubs.

“For the most part, we’ve been going out and playing nine holes,” Lewiston coach Tom Leblond said. “Also, we (had) competitions, we played some scramble and foursome-against-foursome kind of thing. (Thursday) everybody was playing their own ball and trying to post a score and get ready for Saturday.”

HORNETS’ HIGH HOPES

In Class B, Leavitt hopes it can finish the season in style after going 10-0 in the regular season.

The Hornets are led by Ruby Haylock and Morghan Dutil at the top of the lineup, but also has received production from the middle and bottom of the lineup.

“It started at the early part of the season,” Leavitt coach Harry Haylock said. “I see how hard some of the kids have been working, even last year. Eli Lind has really stepped up as a leader, he has spent a lot of time on the course working on his chipping and putting. Quite often, he calls me over to work on his (driving).

“Overall, it has been a great group effort. We have had a pleasant addition in Billy Visconti, a freshman who’s shooting mid-40s at most locations.”

Rebekah Davis, who’s been in the sixth spot in the lineup, qualified for the girls individual state championship on Oct. 12 along with Haylock and Dutil, getting in on the number with a score of 100.

COUGARS ON RISE

Dirigo coach Butch McKenna thought this was going to be rebuilding year for the Cougars. His team exceeded expectations, and it entersg the Class C state tournament as the MVC champions after winning the MVC shootout on Monday.

“I think right around the time we played Winthrop, we had a chance to beat them during the season, it was a close match, it was a great match,” McKenna said. “I said, ‘Well if they play a little better, there’s a chance we could beat them. Then we did in the MVCs and (Wednesday) in the qualifier. They stepped up their game and (we are) hoping they can keep it going for one more round here.”

Whatever happens Saturday, McKenna hopes it’s a good building experience for next season.

One of the teams to watch in Class C is Kents Hill, which came to the MVC qualifier and had team total of 325, which was 47 shots ahead of Dirigo and 51 shots ahead of Monmouth.

Monmouth coach Don Flanagan was glad to see Kents Hill, which competes in the MAISAD in the regular season, come to the MVC qualifier and post such a low number. He hopes it motivates his players to use to strive to get better.

“I think it’s a good thing,” Flanagan said. “You know if you increase your standards, it gives all players, all teams, a more lofty goal to try to achieve and say, ‘Wow, what can I do to get there or to see if it’s possible? If the Kents Hill kids can shoot that, how can I get to that point?’ It takes practice, it takes playing in the offseason. It takes a strong mental game and a lot of work on your short game.”

Other Class C contenders include St. Dom’s, which was the Class C runner-up last year, Mattanwacook and Houlton. In Class B, Leavitt hopes to be contending with the likes of Cape Elizabeth, York and Freeport.

In Class A, Mt. Ararat looks like the team to beat. The Eagles shot a 308 at the KVAC qualifier on the Tomahawk course, where Caleb Manuel broke the course record with a 63. They will have four players in total at the individual state tournament a week from Saturday. Thornton Academy and Falmouth should also be in contention.


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