Portland golfers may not talk much about accomplishing a four-peat at the Division IV state championship in June, but it’s understood.
Just look at Portland’s non-conference schedule: matches against Conard, Glastonbury and Coventry. An 18-hole tournament held at Norwich Golf Course competing against some of the state’s larger schools. It’s all necessary preparation for the upcoming postseason.
“We discussed it at the beginning of year when we set some goals,” Portland golf coach Joe Santavenere said. “We want to get into the final group, be among the top four seeds, We can’t worry about a state championship right now. We need to just keep shooting in the 150s and 160s and give ourselves shot.”
Right now, the Highlanders are focused on taking the Shoreline Conference title away from Coginchaug. The Blue Devils have won the last two titles.
Portland and Coginchaug square off next Thursday at Portland Golf Club to determine the league’s regular-season champion. Both teams are currently undefeated.
“We’ve had some really good matches over the years against Tyler (Woodward, of Coginchaug). They are really good kids and we enjoy playing them. The kids enjoy competing against each other,” Santavenere said
Three golfers return from the three-peat last season: Bryce Cote, Ben Kelley and Brian Fickett. They are the top three in the Highlanders’ lineup.
Steven Fickett and Tim Donoghue are at No. 4 and 5, respectively.
“They all understand that it’s not about being there at the beginning. It’s a process,” Santavenere said. “They lead by example, help each other, put the extra work in on the weekends.”
Xavier, East Catholic, Glastonbury and Staples were among the teams competing at the Wildcat Invitational on Monday. Portland, the only Division IV team in the field, placed fourth, beating 10 teams.
“You only have four guys, so those guys are feeling the pressure,” Santavenere said. “All of their shots count. They don’t have the luxury of having a fifth guy.”
The Shoreline tournament returns to Stanley GC in New Britain on May 22. Then it’s the Division IV meet at Tallwood CC in Hebron on June 3.
Coginchaug, which finished third last year in Division III, has dropped to IV, as did Northwest Catholic.
“You can’t worry about what they (other teams) are doing,” Santavenere said. “If we do our best and someone goes out and plays really well, we will be the first to shake their hands and congratulate them.”
KENNEDY CENTER CLASSIC
High school golfers can apply to participate in The Kennedy Center 28th annual Charity Golf Classic to be held Monday, June 24 at Shorehaven Country Club in Norwalk.
The junior golfers will be teamed with an adult foursome. Not only will they play free of charge, but also will receive an academic scholarship from the Fred and Fran Junior Golfer Scholarship Fund.
Selection to participate will be based on academic achievement, school and community leadership and golf proficiency.
Applications are available by contacting The Kennedy Center at (203) 365-8522, extension 2039, visiting www.thekennedycenterinc.org, or going through your high school guidance counselors or athletic director. The application deadline is Friday, May 31.
Alex Kirtland, North Haven: Shot 36 at Alling Memorial GC to help the Indians beat both Career and Wilbur Cross.
Matt Camel, Brunswick: Shot a 1-over-par 73 at The Stanwich Club to earn medalist laurels at the Greenwich Invitational. Brunswick won the team title.
Chris Fosdick, Xavier: Posted a 3-under-par 66 at Agawam Hnt CC (Rumford, R.I.) to earn medalist laurels at the Bishop Hendricken Invitational. One day earlier, he posted 2-under-par 69 to win medalist laurels at the Wildcat Invitational at Norwich GC.
Matt Doyle, Hand: Fired a 33 at Portland GC as Hand knocked off Xavier, then shot a 34 on the Inner Nine at Race Brook CC to earn medalist laurels and beat both Notre Dame-West Haven and Cheshire in a tri-meet. Also posted a 37 at Madison CC against Morgan and a 37 at Pine Orchard CC against Branford.
Daniel LeBlanc, Immaculate: His 1-over-par at Richter Park GC helped the Mustangs beat Masuk.
Ben James, Hamden Hall: Shot a 74 at Fishers Island GC to earn medalist laurels at The Fisher Island Invitational.
Oliver Frossell, Ridgefield: Posted a 34 at Ridgefield CC in the Tigers’ loss to Greenwich, then shot 37 at Oak Hills GC in a loss to McMahon.
Colin Cusa, Staples: Shot a 1-under 35 at Smith Richardson GC to help Staples earn a tie with Fairfield Ludlowe.
Alex Aurora, Hamden, and Charlie Duffy, Fairfield Prep: Both golfers shot 37 at Laurel View CC as Prep defeated Hamden.
Tyler Woodward, Coginchaug: An even-par 36 was good enough for medalist laurels as the Blue Devils swept Waterford and Morgan.
Ben Kelley, Portland: Shot a 35 at Black Birch CC in Portland’s win over East Hampton.
Kyle St. Pierre, Shelton: An even-par 34 at Brownson CC helped the Gaels beat Foran.
Mia Hidalgo, Cheshire girls: Posted a 38 at Lyman Orchards GC in the Rams’ victory over Mercy.
Sydney Nethercott, Greenwich girls: Her even-par 36 at Smth Richardson GC wasn’t enough as the Cardinals fell to Fairfield Ludlowe.
Sophia Sarrazin, Staples girls: Shot 36 at Longshore GC in the Wreckers’ victory over St. Joseph.
GET OUT AND GO
Greenwich vs. New Canaan at New Canaan CC, Monday, 3 p.m.: Can Rams knock off the dominant Cardinals’ juggernaut at home?
Southington vs. Hall at Rockledge GC, Wednesday, 3 p.m.: Southington won by two in the initial matchup of the two CCC powers.
Xavier vs. Fairfield Prep at Brooklawn CC, Wednesday, 3 p.m.: Xavier coming off a rare home loss (to Hand) now tunes up for the postseason with a good test at one of Fairfield County’s finest courses.
Coginchaug vs. Portland at Portland GC, Thursday, 2:45 p.m.: The tow-time reigning Shoreline Conference champion versus the reigning three-time Division IV state champion with the Shoreline regular season title on the line.
Got it pic.twitter.com/tJkEpnKfqx
— CoginchaugGolf (@CoginchaugGolf) May 9, 2019