Leavitt’s Ruby Haylock watches shot during the Class B state golf championship in October at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

Editor’s note: The coronavirus pandemic made the 2020 fall sports season different than any before it. Some teams didn’t play. Those who did, played shorter schedules, and some only a handful of games or less. There were still standout players, though. And while there might not have been enough games to compile the typical All-Region teams, the Sun Journal still wants to recognize some of the standouts by selecting players of the year for the sports that had seasons.

Ruby Haylock’s golf game reached another level in 2020.

The Leavitt junior is the Sun Journal All-Region Golfer of the Year award for the third year in a row after winning the 2020 Class B girls individual championship — her second straight girls title (she shared the 2019 championship with teammate Morghan Dutil) — and was the KVAC Class B co-individual champion along with teammate Billy Visconti.

Haylock shot a 78 at the state championship and a 79 at the KVAC championship.

During the summer’s Maine State Golf Association season, she won the Women’s Amateur in July and later was named the MSGA Women’s Player of the Year.

“I mean, 2020 definitely hasn’t been the ideal year, in terms of COVID and there was a lot of stuff happening, but golf was just amazing,” Haylock said. “I was happy we were able to have it all (year). I had some success last year, and this year it was just insane. I don’t know, I don’t think I’ve had this much success ever — it’s amazing.”

Haylock said her summer success brought added pressure to the high school season, but it also fueled her to continue working hard.

“I mean it’s definitely a lot more pressure on me for other tournaments because I wanted to continue to do well,” Haylock said. “Once you get up there, I feel like you need to work even harder than before because you want to maintain that spot. But it was a crazy jump from last year to this year. I feel like I improved a ton mentally with my game.”

Harry Haylock, Ruby’s father and Leavitt’s golf coach, said that she was growing in 2019 and it might have affected her game.

“Last year, I don’t know if it was the growth physically, growing a little taller and getting a little stronger, but she had a slump year last year, in my opinion; she struggled a lot with a hook and being consistent,” Harry said. “Overall, she did well, but last year I noticed it was a slump year. But this year, man, everything went really, really well. Mentally, she’s very confident and has a very positive outlook on every experience she has out there, regardless of whether she won or not. Overall, she’s very confident, very positive and she’s hitting magnificent shots.”

Ruby Haylock enjoys the high school golf season because it allows her to help her teammates get better at the game she loves. This season included a few extra obstacles for the Hornets: they only had a few regular season matches, Leavitt Area High School was shut down for two weeks due to COVID-19 cases and the team lost a good chunk of players from 2019.

“It was definitely a lot more challenging to get kids to be involved with the team, and we couldn’t have as much team-bonding stuff,” Ruby said. “We had the glow ball tournament last year and we weren’t able to do that (this year), but we did our best and I was happy we were able to still have a season. We did well at KVACs considering the circumstances, and we lost five seniors last year so we were all a little nervous about it and we did really well.”

The Hornets defended their Class B KVAC team championship, led by the 79s from Haylock and Visconti and an 81 from Dutil.

Leavitt’s Ruby Haylock watches her shot during the Class B state championship at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro in October. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

Haylock took pride in seeing her teammates do so well at the conference tournament.

“Billy, I didn’t expect him to shoot that well. I expected him to shoot mid-to-low 80s, but breaking 80 during the KVAC tournament was amazing,” Ruby said. “We were so proud of him. And Morghan, she was able to hold her ground, and I was proud of her, too. We needed those low numbers and I was really happy we got them.

“Also, we had a new freshman (Noah Carpenter) on the team who switched over from football for the season because they weren’t able to have an actual competitive season. He ended up playing golf for us and just started out for fun and he shot an 88 during the (KVAC) qualifiers. That was amazing too.”

As a team, Leavitt finished fourth at the Class B state tournament with score of 342, 18 points behind state champion Freeport.

Harry notices that Ruby is always concerned about how her teammates are doing out on the course during competition.

“She wants to do well for herself and she pushes herself because she knows how much the team depends on her score, but more importantly, she’s concerned on what her teammates are doing,” Harry said. “I see it when she’s playing, sometimes … she has played nine or 10 holes at 2 or 3 over (par), that’s pretty good. She’s asking, ‘How’s my teammates doing? How’s Billy doing? How is Morghan hanging in?’ I see when (her teammates) cross the fairways in opposite direction, (Ruby) is giving the thumbs up and questioning how they are doing.”


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