Garrett Kendall, left, Miles Frenette, center, and Mason Laflamme of the St. Dominic Academy golf team. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

The St. Dominic Academy golf team has finished second at the Class C state championships three of the past four seasons.

In 2018, they finished 19 strokes behind Houlton, who won with a team score of 333, while in 2020, Orono edged St. Dom’s 345 to 351 to take the crown.

Kents Hill squeaked by the Saints 332 to 335 last season. After that runner-up finishing, Saints coach Chris Whitney noticed a change in the team.

“We had those second-place finishes before where we’re leaving on the bus, we are like we got our (runner-up) plaque, we finished where we finished kind of thing,” Whitney said. “But last year, the conversation afterward, where kids were going back and going, ‘Hey, I could have gotten a shot here or I lost a shot there.’ It stung them.”

Junior Garrett Kendall said the Saints are using the bitter defeat as motivation to be more consistent from the first tournament to the last this season. He said that he things the team played better when they shot a 340 at the Western Maine Conference qualifier the week before the state championship.

“We definitely weren’t happy about second place last year,” Kendall said. “I think it’s certainly a motivator that we came so close last year. In the (WMC) qualifying round, we did play really well and if we played like the week before (at the WMC qualifier), we would have won (the state championship).”


The Saints’ focus this year is on winning the Class C state championship.

“I think the expectation is to win it all this year,” sophomore Mason Laflamme said. “We came in second by a couple of shots, and we are better this year, a lot better. I think we have a real chance of winning it all.”

Laflamme is already off to a strong start. In a match against Bangor and Cape Elizabeth, he shot a 2-over-par 74 at Fox Ridge — the Saints’ home course — and was the medalist of the match.

Whitney said Laflamme will be one of St. Dom’s top three players, along with Kendall and Frenette, and hopes the sophomore will help replace the low scores of the graduated Nick Ferrance, who shot a 78 and placed seventh at the Class C state tournament.

Kendall said low scores from young players like Laflamme are evidence of the amount of depth the Saints have this season.

“(Laflamme) shooting low gives me a big confidence boost because that takes a little bit of stress off of me, it takes a little stress off everybody else,” Kendall said. “We don’t need one or two people to go super low, we can get two or three or (the top) four to go kind of low and that will be good enough (to win).”


Whitney said the Saints’ scores are lower in practice rounds and their one regular season match than they have been at this point of the season in past years.

The St. Dom’s players have played a lot of golf this summer, mostly at Fox Ridge or in Maine Golf junior tournaments. Kendall won the final Maine Junior Tour event at Brunswick Golf Club on Aug. 10.

“Personally, I have been playing as much as I can, getting on the range as much as I can, getting on the practice green as much as I can,” Kendall said.

St. Dominic Academy golf coach Chris Whitney works with senior Miles Frenette Monday at Fox Ridge Golf Club in Auburn. Junior Ethan Pelletier is at left. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Whitney has been building a pipeline over the past few years to help develop talent for the St. Dom’s golf team.

“Back a few years ago, I started with my assistant coach (Fox Ridge PGA Pro Bob Darling) an elementary school program, and a middle school program. Now we are just seeing (the results),” Whitney said. “We have a freshman, Joey Adams, who will be in our top six, and he’s one of the first kids to age into the high school team from that program.”

St. Dom’s currently has 10 players in the middle school program for the upcoming school year.



One of the things Whitney emphasizes to the players in the programs is to focus on their games and the golf course, not on who they are playing.

“You will hear Coach Whitney say it, especially in our regular season matches: ‘You are playing the course. Golf is a mental game,'” Frenette said. “You aren’t necessarily playing the other guys in your group, you are playing against yourself. You are trying to play the best you can do. It doesn’t matter if the guy you are playing is shooting 10-over or if he’s beating you by 10 strokes. All you want to do is the best you can. You are playing the course.”

Garrett Kendall, left, Mason Laflamme, center, and Miles Frenette of the St. Dominic Academy golf team. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

There are three players who were on the Saints’ 2022 Class D baseball state championship team — Laflamme, Frenette and Ethan Pelletier — and they hope that championship experience is beneficial during the golf season.

“It’s really great to get a ring,” Laflamme said. “It really gives you something to work for because when you get one, you want more and more. It makes you work harder, and it gives you something to work for.”

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: