The first state championships of the fall sports season were handed out Saturday at the golf team title matches at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro.
While no squads from Forecaster Country managed to garner the hardware, Falmouth, Greely and North Yarmouth Academy all did well.
In Class A, the Rangers and defending champion Yachtsmen both shot a four-player combined round of 320, meaning it came down to the fifth-place golfer to determine a winner in the tiebreaker and Greely got the nod to place second and relegate Falmouth to third (Scarborough won its first championship with a round of 318).
The Rangers were paced by strong rounds from Aidan Roberts (74) and Sam Burgoyne (76). Also scoring were Nathan Gervais and Tate Porter, who both shot an 85. Jacob Storey’s round of 87 proved to be the difference in the tiebreaker.
“We had a nice season in the toughest conference in the state, the SMAA Central Division,” said Greely coach Brian Bickford. “We finished the regular season 8-2 and lost to Thornton Academy in a tie breaker by 0.5 points for the automatic berth in the state tourney. We had our second runner-up finish in three years.”
The Rangers should be very strong again in 2015, as all five state scorers return, along with others looking to make an impact.
“In fact, our top nine players return,” Bickford said. “We look forward to next year and wish it started yesterday. Players will need to shoot around 40 to make the starting lineup next year.”
Falmouth overcame adversity, but still produced a score that could have won the title in many years. This year’s state match effort was led by Craig Smith (77) and Alex Whitmore (78). Also scoring were Charlie Hepburn (81) and Reed Lonsdale (84). Riley Lonsdale had a round of 89.
“We had a very successful season,” said Yachtsmen first-year coach John Mullen. “Five days prior to the state tournament, we found out our number two player, Chris Dewolf, was having surgery and would be unable to play. Despite the loss of one of our top players, the kids never wavered in their belief we could contend for a state championship. We played great as a team and several players stepped up.”
Falmouth has a habit of not going very long between titles, so the Yachtsmen might just find themselves back atop the heap in 2015, even after graduating Dewolf, Hepburn and Smith. Reed Lonsdale, Riley Lonsdale and Alex Whitmore lead the list of those returning.
In Class C, NYA shot a 370 and placed sixth. Winthrop (315) won the championship.
The Panthers were led by Johnny Busolin’s round of 87. Brad Rockey shot an 88, Dana Nichols finished with a round of 92 and Haven Cutko shot a 103. Owen McCarthy’s score of 104 wasn’t taken into account.
“It was a surprising day,” said NYA coach Charlie Hudson. “Johnny was our number six guy at the end of the season and had our best score. He played great. It was a great day for him. Brad came up big after shooting in the high 90s at the qualifier. Dana had a couple bad holes, but finished with a solid round. We did a few strokes better than we did last year, so it was a great day.”
The Panthers return a strong core of Cutko, McCarthy and Nichols and hope that junior Nick Demers can return from a hand injury and be a factor.
“We have good players to build around,” Hudson said.
The golf season ends Saturday back at Natanis as select individuals vie for Class A, B and C boys’ and a combined class girls’ crown.