Friday September 7, 2012

WILLIAMSTOWN -- He may be wearing a new color, but Luke Polidoro is still the same old coach.

"It’s different," he said. "Ryan [Grande] and Adam [Brickle] and those guys were ‘See ya later Coach.’ I’m still Coach to them. I’m always going to be Coach to them."

Grande and Brickle helped Polidoro’s old team Pittsfield -- coached by his brother Chris -- beat his new team 170-192 on Thursday at Waubeeka Golf Links. It was an opportunity for Luke, who left Pittsfield in the capable hands of his younger brother in the offseason, to see the fruits of his labor at both schools.

While Grande earned medalist honors with a 39, Greylock made strides forward for the third straight match. Freshman Matt Wiseman shot a 44 while Aaron St. Martin had a 45, including a birdie on the eighth hole.

That birdie started with a tee shot that had St. Martin steaming. Luke Polidoro told him to relax, reminding him, "you can still hit a four [birdie] or five [par] from where you are." Two shots later, he finished the hole up with a nice chip-in.

"Coach Polidoro, he’s really inspiring," St. Martin said. "He’s always very supportive as well. ... He really understands there’s a lot of different attitudes on the team and how to deal with all of them."

That mental coaching is one of the ways he built the Generals into the county power he handed over to Chris. Grande is the consistent centerpiece of that team, shooting no worse than 39 in the Generals three victories this season.

Thursday was Grande’s first trip to Waubeeka this year and he still put in a solid day despite struggling on the last three holes on the par-36 front nine.

"I’m happy with the way I played," Grande said. "It’s another round under 4-over, so overall I’m happy with it."

Grande said it’s been a pretty smooth transition from one Polidoro to another, adding that Chris can be pretty funny. The Pittsfield coach, who is an assistant professional at Cranwell, said he picked up some coaching tips working under his older brother in recent years.

One of those lessons may have been picking the right golf shirts. Last year, Chris ordered some light purple shirts for PHS that Luke described as "periwinkle." This year, the Generals showed up to Waubeeka in a deeper shade of purple, drawing approval from Luke.

"It was funny, we went to pick up our shirts at the same time," Chris said. "I said, ‘These are the ones I got.’ He said, ‘Ahh, the purple looks good. You did better than last year.’ "

Said Luke: "I look better in red than purple."

------

Pittsfield 170, Mount Greylock 192

PITTSFIELD (170) -- Ryan Grande 39, Jake Matthews 43, Adam Brickle 42, Nick Martin 47, Denis Cooney 48, Jerry McDonough 46.

GREYLOCK (192) -- Aaron St. Martin 45, Matt Wiseman 44, Mike Strizzi 50, Kyle Alvarez 59, Lilly Crolius 53, Josh Jezouit 63.

Birdies -- St. Martin (No. 8), Cooney (No. 8), Matthews (No. 8).