Berkshire County high school golfers ready to tackle Western Mass. tournaments
Over the course of the next two days, six Berkshire County High School golf teams will battle for Western Massachusetts team and individual titles.
Everything begins Monday morning when reigning Division III champion Lee will join Berkshire team rival Lenox and McCann Tech in the tournament at Agawam Municipal Golf Course in the Springfield suburb of Feeding Hills. In addition to the three teams, Mount Everett's Cooper Rothvoss will compete as an individual. It's a 9 a.m. shotgun start.
Hoosac Valley is the reigning Division II champion, and the Hurricanes will put their title on the line on Tuesday at the Country Club of Pittsfield. Wahconah and Mount Greylock will also compete at the South Street golf course. The shotgun start is scheduled for 10 a.m.
The Division I tournament will be held at the Southampton Golf Club on Monday. Neither Pittsfield or Taconic qualified as a team, and no individuals qualified either.
The Division III state championship will be played on Monday, Oct. 28, at Cranberry Valley Golf Club in Harwich on Cape Cod. The Division II state championship will be contested on Tuesday, Oct. 29, at Taconic Golf Club in Williamstown.
Twelve months ago, Lee's Thomas Fraser shot even-par 71 at Waubeeka Golf Links in Williamstown to help the Wildcats win their second Western Mass. title in four years. Fraser is now golfing at RPI, but four of his teammates from 2018 are heading to the Agawam Municipal Golf Course in hopes of repeating. Last year, Lee won with a score of 349, two strokes better than runner-up Monson and eight shots better than third-place Lenox.
Dylan Boomsma, Dylan Ely and Camden Redstone all finished in the Top 20 last year, and are back for 2019. Ely was tied for eighth with Lenox's Max DiGrigoli and Franklin Tech's Mike McGoldrick. They are both returning to play this year.
So are the top golfers at Lenox. The Millionaires, who are seeking their first D-III title since 2012, have six underclassmen competing.
Brendan Hayden finished sixth and was one of five Lenox golfers to place in the Top 20 a year ago.
The Division III schools will tackle the 5,679-yard, par-72 course with a 9 a.m. shotgun start.
"The kids have had some success in practice rounds there," Lenox assistant coach Mark Gilligan said. "We have played on a variety of courses. I'm optimistic we're going to do well there."
McCann Tech is also sending a team to Agawam. Four of the Hornets are veterans of Western Mass. play. They are Chris Rose, Nash Morin, Dalton Tatro and Dylynn Handee.
On Tuesday, the Division II teams will head for the 6,395-yard, par-71 Country Club of Pittsfield layout. Unlike Agawam that has an equal number of par 3, 4 and 5 holes, Pittsfield will provide golfers with 11 par-4 holes. Four of the 18 holes are par 3, and there are three par-5 holes, including two on the back nine.
"It's like Stockbridge. You have to hit a lot of placement shots," Hoosac coach Jason Sniezek said. "You can't let it rip with a driver on a lot of the holes."
The Hurricanes head into the tourney as the 2018 champion.
"I think it's in the back of their minds about defending it," Sniezek said. "It's a totally different team. We lost two key players from last year."
The Hurricanes do, however, return the individual champion in Henry Sniezek. He shot a 79 to win last year's tournament, beating teammate Derek Alibozek and Matthew Garrity of Southwick by one stroke. Alibozek graduated, but Garrity is back to contend again. In fact, four of the top nine finishers behind Sniezek are back this year. Sniezek was the second consecutive Berkshire golfer to win the individual title as Wahconah's Nate Dos Santos did it in 2017.
Corben Craig shot 96 last year, but is coming off an outstanding performance at the Berkshire County Classic, where he beat Wahconah's Patrick McLaughlin in a playoff.
"He's my blue collar guy. He's a solid player all around and I can count on him to the job done. And when he's on, he's very capable of shooting a score like he did at Stockbridge," the Hoosac coach said of Craig. "I think he proved to himself at Stockbridge that he has a complete game and now thinks about each shot he needs to hit."
Wahconah coach Pete Terpak said the 18 holes at Pittsfield will be a challenge for his team.
"We haven't seen the back nine a lot," he said. "It's a positional golf course. You're not killing it with distance."
The Warriors got a big performance from McLaughlin in the Classic, and Terpak said that could help the eighth grader's confidence heading into Western Mass.
"It was a great experience for him," the coach said, quickly adding that, "you have to have four guys to score."
Mount Greylock is the third team in the tournament. Four of the Mounties played last year, including Owen Petropulos, who had the low score for the Mounties as a seventh grader last year.
Western Mass. Division III Tournament
Monday, Oct. 21
at Agawam Municipal Golf Course
Berkshire County golfers
Hole 1A — Dylan Boomsma Lee; Max DiGrigoli, Lenox
1B — Ryan Baran, McCann Tech
18 — Cooper Rothvoss, Mount Everett
17A — Camden Redstone, Lee; Brendan Hayden, Lenox
17B — Chris Rose, McCann
16A — Adam Dingman, Lee
16B — Max Shepardson, Lenox; Nash Morin, McCann
14 — Caleb Kollmer, Lee; Cliff Flynn, Lenox; Dalton Tatro, McCann
12 — Dylan Ely, Lee; Ben Haddad, Lenox
11 — Dylynn Hardee, McCann
10A — Colin Durkin, Lee
10B — Devan Patel, Lenox; Sam Ingalls, McCann
Western Mass. Division II Tournament
Tuesday, Oct. 22
at Country Club of Pittsfield.
Hole 1 — Henry Sniezek, Hoosac Valley
2 — Zander Axt, Mount Greylock; Dan Wilson, Wahconah
3 — Luc Trombley, Hoosac
6 — Brayden Smith, Greylock; Patrick McLaughlin, Wahconah
8 — Corben Craig, Hoosac
9 — Paul Roeder, Greylock; Kristina Cusson, Wahconah
10 — Justyn Cowell, Hoosac
11 — Owen Petropulos, Greylock; Mike Cullett, Wahconah
13 — Colby Rougeau, Hoosac
14 — Ben Prescott, Greylock; Caden Frazier, Wahconah
16 — Zach Swistak, Hoosac
17 — Emily Figiela, Wahconah.
Howard Herman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, at @howardherman on Twitter, or 413-496-6253.
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