The state’s best high school golfers will return to Natanis Golf Club on Saturday as individual state championships will be handed out.

Class A and B boys will tee off on the Tomahawk course, while Class C boys and the girls will compete on the Arrowhead course.

Leavitt and Monmouth lead the way with three players competing, as Ruby Haylock, Morghan Dutil and Rebekah Davis will vie for the girls’ championship for the Hornets. For the Mustangs, Ryan Burham, Abby Flanagan and Averi Beaudoin qualified.

Edward Little will have two representatives in Colin Merritt and Will Cassidy. Dirigo also has two with Wyatt Smith and Sam Skibitsky.

St. Dom’s has two in Neil Larochelle and Demetri Gammaitoni, who were the co-Class C WMC individual champions as they both shot an 83 at the WMC qualifier.

Gould Academy will also send two, as Elijah Grammas will compete in the Class C boys tournament while Mia Wang will take part in the girls tournament.

Parker Thibeault is Lewiston’s lone golfer competing, while Dylan Davis of Oxford Hills will also be in the Class A tournament. Ben DiBaise (Mt. Abram) and Zach Pray (Winthrop) will compete in the Class C tournament.

Haylock finished second in last year’s tournament to Rachel Smith of Greely, who has since graduated.

Haylock wished she knew a little bit more of her competition heading into Saturday, as she doesn’t know much besides her teammates and Lindsay Cote of Nokomis.

“They are the only ones I have played with,” Haylock said. “I haven’t seen (any others) in junior tournaments or U.S. Kids (Golf) or anything. I wouldn’t say it’s nerve-wracking, but I wish I knew more of the scores from the other girls in the (state) shot because it would make me know how much I need to work.”

Haylock considers Arrowhead her second home course with all the tournament golf she has played there.

Dutil finished third a year ago, two strokes behind Haylock and five shots behind Smith.

The player that has made the biggest improvement is Davis, who qualified right on the number with a score of 100. At last year’s KVAC qualifier she shot a 117.

“Last year, golf wasn’t her greatest priority, it wasn’t on the top of her list, especially during the summer” Leavitt coach Harry Haylock said. “Then she recognized how meaningful her performance was to the team, even if it was from the sixth spot. She worked quite a bit more this summer and she didn’t miss any practices this season, (she) was very involved in the practice sessions.”

Having two other teammates joining Haylock just shows the time and effort everybody has put in.

“It really makes me proud of my team,” Ruby Haylock said. “It really makes me think how much we have worked this fall and all the practice we have done, it makes it payoff that much more.”

Like Leavitt, Monmouth is in its second season since restarting its golf program and head coach Don Flanagan is pleased with the amount of kids that have qualified.

“As happy I am for the team, to put three players into the individual state tournament is quite an accomplishment too,” Monmouth coach Don Flanagan said. “We had one more guy who was one bad hole away from qualifying himself. Ryan is a senior, he has been steady all year and had that No. 1 spot all year. He has done a good job leading the team.

“Abby, on the girls’ side, has been our No. 2 and she has been pretty solid even though she’s been battling a pretty bad ankle injury all season. It has hurt her at times, but she’s a good competitor playing for her teammates and trying the best she can.”

For Beaudoin, she has had some beginners luck.

“Averi Beaudoin, she’s brand-new to golf,” Flanagan said. “She’s a good athlete and overall a good kid. For her to qualify, I think it’s quite the feat. Six weeks into her golf career she will be teeing it up at the state individual title.”

Golf is a game where consistency is key, and that’s what Wyatt Smith and Sam Skibitsky brought to the Cougars this season and got them into the individual tournament. Skibitsky had the best scoring average in the MVC, with a 41.88, while Smith was 12th with a 47.18.

“Wyatt is dedicated to golf, he really is, he really puts a lot of time into it,” Dirigo coach Butch McKenna said. “He has been steady all season. … Sam, of course, he’s always steady, he’s Mr. Dependable.”

The same can be said about the Red Eddies’ top golfers.

“They have been our one and two all year,” Edward Little coach Chris Merrill said. “Will started out the year playing great, he was high-30s in most matches. He kind of struggled towards the end of the year, but he got it back for the qualifier. For Colin, he’s been pretty steady all year, he played all summer in junior events leading up to this season and dedicated his summer to playing golf and getting better. From last year to this year, I see a big difference in him, he’s playing with a lot of confidence.”

At the qualifier, Cassidy just got in by shooting an 85 and had an 81 last Saturday in the team championships with both rounds coming on the Tomahawk course. Merritt shot a 77 in the qualifier and 82 in the team championships.

Thibeault is another player who could make some noise in the Class A tournament, as everyone in the field is trying to chase Caleb Manuel of Mt. Ararat. Thibeault shot a 76 at the qualifier to place second only behind Manuel, who shot a course-record for Tomahawk with a 63. At the team state championships Thibeault fired an 85.

“In the past, he really hasn’t had a lot of success on that course,” Lewiston coach Tom Leblond said. “He will be the first to admit he played poorly last year in the (individual tournament). It’s a real motivation playing well (in the qualifier), now getting another shot at it and keep getting better. Hopefully he has the course figured out.”

Leavitt’s Ruby Haylock tees off during the Class B state golf championships Saturday October 5, 2019, at Natanis Golf Club in Vassalboro. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

 

Leavitt’s Ruby Haylock lines up her putt during the golf team state championships Saturday at Natanis Golf Club in Vassalboro. Kennebec Journal photo by Joe Phelan Buy this Photo

Monmouth’s Ryan Burnham watches his drive at the golf team state championships Saturday at Natanis Golf Club in Vassalboro. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

Dirigo’s Sam Skibitsky during the Class C state golf championships Saturday October 5, 2019, at Natanis Golf Club in Vassalboro. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

Dirigo’s Sam Skibitsky during the Class C state golf championships Saturday October 5, 2019, at Natanis Golf Club in Vassalboro. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

Leavitt’s Ruby Haylock putts during the Class B state golf championships Saturday October 5, 2019, at Natanis Golf Club in Vassalboro. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

Monmouth’s Ryan Burnham watches his shot at the golf team state championships Saturday at Natanis Golf Club in Vassalboro. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo


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