The first championships of the 2011 fall sports season were handed out Monday at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro and a familiar name took home some hardware. Again.
A year after winning the Class B title, Falmouth moved up to Class A and proved to be the finest team in that class, shooting a 312 to easily take the title by 19 strokes over runner-up Cheverus. Deering (332) came in third.
Matt Packard and Will Bucklin both shot a 74. Nick Franco (81) and Joe Lesniak (83) also scored, while Joe Ionta contributed an 89.
“It was amazing,” said longtime Yachtsmen coach Spike Herrick. “It was almost the happiest I’ve ever seen kids after winning. The stars were aligned. When I think about all the close matches we had with all the strong schools in the regular season, I was expecting a dogfight. It was a wonderful, wonderful day. Bucklin and Packard both peaked at the right time. Packard has worked hard to get to where is. He’s very steady. Joe Ionta was six-over after three holes, but he played excellent. Golf is his only varsity sport. We would have won if we had to use his score. We had so many strong teams in our division this year. We were used to challenges and not afraid of them.”
While winning a title the first year after a jump in class may come as a surprise to many, Herrick felt otherwise.
“Over the years, Class B has been a strong a division as anyone,” he said. “With all the country clubs in places like Falmouth, Cape Elizabeth and York, kids are used to playing the sport and are encouraged at an early age.”
While Bucklin, Franco and Packard will graduate, expect the Yachtsmen to make another title run in 2012.
“There are a lot of good golfers in Falmouth,” Herrick said. “There are a bunch of eighth graders who are pretty good.”
In Class B, Yarmouth (338) was runner-up to York (322). After finishing third each of the past two years, the Clippers moved up and completed a superb year.
No individual results were available at press time.
The individual championships will be contested Saturday, also at Natanis.
Local girls’ qualifiers include Greely’s Edith Aramando (who won the qualifier with a 79), Yarmouth’s Monica Austin (second, 83), Greely’s Sarah Hansen (88), Yarmouth’s Jordan Brown (fifth, 94), Yarmouth’s Grace King (ninth, 96) and Yarmouth’s Emily Lunt (14th, 104).
Boys’ competitors include Bucklin and Packard from state champion Falmouth, Greely’s Kyle Megathlin and two players from North Yarmouth Academy, George Doolan and Weston Nolan. The Panthers didn’t field a varsity team this fall, but Doolan (who had the second best score, 74, out of 69 participants, and Nolan (88) both qualified as individuals.
Falmouth captured the 2011 Class A state golf championship Monday in Vassalboro with a score of 312. The Yachtsmen won the title in their first year in Class A. They captured Class B in 2010.
Left to right: Joe Lesniak, Will Bucklin, Joe Ionta, Nick Franco, Matt Packard, Drew Proctor, coach Spike Herrick.