The Deering golf team won a surprise Class A state championship in 2008 and hoped to get back to the pinnacle after a third-place showing a year ago, but despite tying for the best team score Saturday at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro, the Rams weren’t able to bring home the title.
In fact, Deering wound up third after a tiebreaker gave the crown to Gorham and Brunswick, the runner-up.
In the state meet, the top four scores go toward the team total, but if there is a tie, as there was with the three schools each shooting a 329, the teams’ fifth player’s score is brought into account. As a result, Gorham earned the championship as its fifth, Spencer LaPierre (86), was better than Brunswick’s James Waring (92) and Deering’s John Paglio (93).
“It came down to one day and the last four holes and it just didn’t happen,” said Deering coach Billy Goodman. “It’s the second time in four years we’ve lost by a stroke.”
The Rams (who were 9-0-1 in the regular year and won the northern division title) had the two best individual scores in Class A (junior Rocco Spizuoco, 75, and junior Joe Walp, 77), but it wasn’t enough. Seniors Cooper Nadeau (87) and Matt Bevilacqua (90) were the others among the four.
“My three and four had to finish strong and they couldn’t,” said Goodman. “That wouldn’t happen again. The conditions were hard, but the wind didn’t matter at the end.”
Deering will give it another shot in 2011.
“We lose six seniors and have Joe and Rocco coming back,” Goodman said. “We’ll have to build on them and hope to improve over the summer.”
Cheverus (5-5 in the regular season) was sixth at states in 2009 and moved up this time to fourth, with a team score of 333.
The Stags were paced by senior Kyle Bourassa, who shot a 79. Junior Mike Hass-Zanghi (84), sophomore Andrew Cloutier (85) and John McKew (87) were the other scorers. Senior Nick Burns (89) also took part.
“The kids played well for the most part,” said Cheverus coach Jim Ouellette. “It was a tough regular season, so I was happy to see them play better at the end. We played great in the qualifier and came close Saturday. We were just four shots from the tiebreaker.”
Despite graduating Bourassa, Burns and McKew, the Stags should be a top contender again next fall.
“I have some JV kids who have played well,” Ouellette said. “I hope they come in and fill the spots.”
Individual boys’ and girls’ players will vie for glory this coming Saturday, also at Natanis. Cheverus’ Bourassa, Burns, Cloutier and Quinn O’Hanlon and Deering’s Bevilacqua, Spizuoco and Walp are in the running for the Class A boys title.
Portland’s Stephanie Rogers and Deering’s Delaney Loring will compete in the girls’ match.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org