The St. Dominic Academy golf team has already beat its performance at last year’s Class C state championship tournament.

Last year, the Saints shot a 351 and placed second at the state championships at Natanis’ Arrowhead course. On the same course Tuesday, the Saints finished second at the Western Maine Conference Class C qualifier with a score of 340, five strokes behind the Waynflete Flyers.

The 340 was good enough to qualify for the team state championship on Oct. 9, again at the Arrowhead course at Natanis.

The team scores are the sum of the top four scores among a team’s six players. The Saints’ No. 4 player, Garrett Kendall, shot a team-low 82 on Tuesday, followed by Nick Ferrance (84), Caleb Phillips (85), and Miles Frenette (89). Those four also qualified for the Class C state individual state championship also on Oct. 9. Ethan Pelletier (94) and Mason Laflamme (97) were the Saints’ other two players Tuesday.

A golfer qualifies for the individual championships by shooting under 90 (for boys) or 100 (girls). All players on qualifying teams automatically qualify for the individual championship.

Coach Chris Whitney said each player has contributed to St. Dom’s success this season.

“This year, we don’t have that one guy; we have what most teams would consider their No. 2 man, and we have four of them,” Whitney said.

Phillips’ improvement has been a boon to the Saints.

“He shot an 85 (on Tuesday),” Whitney said. “Last year, he was the kid that was left home after the qualifying and didn’t play in the states. He talks to me all the time and jokes it kind of (bummed) him out at a bit. But he came back (this season) with a little bit of a chip on his shoulder, and he’s been pretty steady. I know the next (nine days) he will pump up the practice rounds and swings on the range.”

St. Dom’s has developed a friendly rivalry with Waynflete this season, and the two teams will play some exhibition matches against each other before Oct. 9.

“We know Waynflete will be at states, and we are close with them and good friends with them,” Whitney, who thinks the Saints are hitting their stride at the perfect time, said. “We have had some fun matches this season.”

YOUNG, BUT READY

The Edward Little Red Eddies and Leavitt Hornets will be vying for  KVAC team championships on Thursday.

The Red Eddies will compete for the Class A title at Brunswick Golf Club, while the Hornets travel to Rockland Golf Club for the Class B tournament.

Edward Little compiled a 12-4 regular season record, despite not having as much experience as past years.

Edward Little’s Connor Turcotte hits a shot during a match last month in Brunswick. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

“We are pretty young, and an inexperienced team,” Red Eddies coach Chris Merrill said. “We have a couple of freshmen and a couple of sophomores and a couple of juniors, so it’s pretty spread out. We only have one kid who played in any varsity matches last year.”

The Red Eddies have faced Lewiston and Oxford Hills five times each this season, and only played three other matches that didn’t involve those two schools.

“It was a comfort factor for a lot of the kids, especially when we played Lewiston,” Merrill said. “A lot of (players) play hockey together, so the comfort factor was there. It was going out and playing nine holes with your buddies in the afternoon. I think for them it helps, and for us it kind of relaxed (our players) more and (they were) playing better golf.”

On Thursday, Edward Little takes on Brunswick, Messlonskee and the winner of Wednesday’s Hampden-Bangor match. Merrill said the team championship will be a good opportunity for the Red Eddies to see a new course and opponents.

Next Tuesday, the KVAC qualifier is at Natanis’ Tomahawks course, which is also hosting the Class A state championship.

To qualify for the state championship, the Red Eddies have to shoot 380 or lower.

HORNETS GOING LOW

While Edward Little is young and inexperienced, Leavitt has a mix of veterans and freshmen who have been impact players in the Hornets’ undefeated season.

The success has started with senior Ruby Haylock, one of the top golfers in the state.

“The number one thing is the great leadership Ruby provides,” Leavitt coach Harry Haylock said. “She has been an awesome role model, and she’s a tournament-proven golfer.”

Four of the Hornets’ six players have shot a nine-hole round in the 30s this season: Ruby Haylock, junior Billy Visconti, and freshmen Jade Haylock and Alexis McCormick.

Aidan Lind and AJ Davis, the team’s fifth and sixth players, have shot rounds in the low 40s.

“I told those guys that we have the most solid fifth and sixth players in the conference,” Harry Haylock said. “I never have to worry about those guys winning their matches, because quite often they win their matches 5 and 4.”

The Hornets will battle Maranacook and MCI for the KVAC Class B championship. After that comes is the KVAC Class B qualifier on Tuesday and then the Class B state championship on Oct. 8, both at Natanis’ Tomahawk Course.

MVC IS WIDE OPEN

On Thursday, the MVC will crown its team champion at the Arrowhead Course, with Spruce Mountain, Monmouth, Winthrop and Oak Hill vying for the title.

“I think Monmouth and Spruce are probably the favorites,” Winthrop coach Looney Steeves said. “Monmouth has a solid group with the Beaudin sisters (Avery and Reese); Mia Luce has been playing well. Carter O’Connell and Kyle Clavet have done a great job. “Up at Spruce (Mountain), coach (Dianne) Fenlason’s son Matt, and Alex Grimaldi are both outstanding players.

“I think we all have a very good top end. It’s the bottom end of the lineup, those bottom four kids of the six — it’s who can get the best two kids out of them is the one that will take home the trophy Thursday.”

The Ramblers have had a roller-coaster season.

“It’s been kind of a fun season because it’s been an up-and-down season,” Steeves said. “You never know what you are going to get when you go out and play. (My) kids have been solid all year, which is what you hope they will do. They have progressed, and I have gotten one young man who, the first night we played nine holes in practice he shot a 90; I think (Monday) night, he shot a 56. That’s a pretty amazing (progress), and there’s a lot of growth in the kids.”

The Mustangs have found their stride at the end of the regular season.

“We are peaking at the right time; we have had some good scores the last few matches,” Monmouth coach Don Flanagan said. “It seemed like we were on the road for the first half of the season, and we got to Springbrook, our home course, for the last three matches, which has served us well. The kids have done well on their home course. Hopefully, we can carry that forward up at Natanis. We have seen improvements all around.”

The MVC qualifier is next Wednesday on Natanis’ Arrowhead course.


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