ORANGE >> It’s not easy to lose the likes of golfers Alex Jenkins (graduation) and A.J. Sanzaro (transfer) and still remain in contention for the Southern Connecticut Conference championship.
But as Xavier made its way through what ended up being a regular season Division I championship, coach Mike Kohs thought the possibility of winning the tournament title Tuesday at Race Brook Country Club definitely existed.
And with a freshman like Chris Fosdick leading the way, expect the Falcons to be right there in contention for years to come. Fosdick shot a 2-over-par 73 in near-perfect conditions to earn medalist laurels by two strokes – the same margin Xavier beat Amity for the team competition 316 to 318.
“When we had some consistency, especially when we had good numbers on courses away from home, to me that’s the defining thing for a good golf team, ‘Can you play well away from your home course?’” Kohs said. “We played well on a number of different courses and the guys being so young, how do they handle mistakes and how do they handle success? Today, they handled both well.”
This is Xavier’s first tournament title since 2012.
Tuesday was the first time Fosdick, a Middlefield resident and a member at Lyman Orchards GC in town, had seen Race Brook CC. He double-bogeyed the 17th hole, but did have a run of three straight birdies (10 through 12) as well.
“I thought I would have to shoot a little bit better to be the medalist,” said Fosdick, 15. “It was a pretty good round.”
Said Kohs: “Chris is kid who loves to play and he is a nice kid, if he hits what he thinks is a poor shot, it is really a decent shot for most players. It’s not up to his expectations and he gets down on himself a little bit. That’s what he needs to overcome.”
Junior Mitch Nappi also broke 80 for Xavier, posting a 78. Connor Forbes, the only senior in Xavier’s starting lineup, finished with an 82.
“To win the regular season was an accomplishment, but to come here and back it up with a conference title is something special,” Kohs said.
Xavier’s performance denied Amity’s bid for its first conference championship. The Spartans finished second for the fifth time behind a pair of 3-over-75s from Charlie Csjeka and Anthony Taddei and an 80 from John Ahern.
“I want to win like everybody does, but I’m very happy with how the kids played,” Amity coach George Taylor said.
The Spartans will lose just one starting senior Amanda Barone, who finished with 88. She chose to remain with the boys team this season even after the school formed a girls varsity program.
“She stayed with the boys, partly because she knows the kids, partly because she wanted the challenge. She could have gone with the girls and been a star but felt it benefited her to play this kind of competition all the time.”
Xavier and Amity will try to contend for the Division I state championship meet next Monday at Tallwood CC in Hebron along with Hand, which finished third at 329, Fairfield Prep (fifth, 333), Cheshire (sixth, 349) and Hamden (seventh, 352).
Notre Dame-West Haven, last year’s SCC champion, will be in contention for next Monday’s Division II championship meet at Timberlin GC in Kensington. Finn Boynton was the Green Knights’ top player on Tuesday, posting a 76.
Southern Connecticut Conference championship meet
(at Race Brook CC)
Team results: 1. Xavier (316); 2. Amity (318); 3. Hand (329); 4. Notre Dame-West Haven (332); 5. Fairfield Prep (333); 6. Cheshire (349); 7. Hamden (352); 8. Sheehan (352); 9. Shelton (353).
Top individual results
Chris Fosdick (Xavier), 73; Charlie Csejka (Amity) 37-38=75; Anthony Taddei (Amity), 75; Finn Boynton (Notre Dame), 76; Mitch Nappi (Xavier), 78; Jake Bennett (Hand), 78; Alex Aurura (Hamden), 79; Andrew Sciarretta (Fairfield Prep), 80; John Ahern (Amity), 80; Ryan Sember (Branford), 81; Jess Santos (Shelton), 81; Matt Schmerzter (Fairfield Prep), 81; Carter Chapman (Hand), 81; Matt Cesare (Fairfield Prep), 82; Connor Forbes (Xavier), 82; Kevin Lynch (Xavier), 83; Christian Ugolik (Hamden), 83; Eli Dyer (Sheehn), 83; Dan Schena (Cheshire), 83; Alex Ruxer (Notre Dame), 83; Jake Oliver (Hand), 84; Chris Lupoli (Notre Dame), 84.