BEACON FALLS — The Woodland golf team is looking to remain in the hunt in spite of losing quite a few talented players over the past few seasons.
In 2015, the Hawks finished 15-1 and runner-ups in the NVL with four-time All-NVL and two-time All-State golfer Mike Erickson leading the way.
Last year, Woodland finished 13-3 and sixth at the NVL championship match. Woodland was led by two-time All-NVL golfer Ryan Warner and co-captain Zach Crowell.
Head coach Bill Carangelo, who is in his 13th year at the helm, has an experienced group of three seniors and two juniors coming back to lead the way this season.
“We haven’t been out on the course yet (due to the weather),” said Carangelo heading into this week. “We have just been on the driving range. I know the kids we have coming back and I feel comfortable with our one through five.
“We do have a freshman who has looked promising on the driving range. Hopefully he can develop quickly and help us out, giving us a solid seven players to work with. We were kind of inconsistent last season but after finishing as runner-up the bar was set pretty high.”
Woodland will be led by two time All-NVL golfer and last year’s MVP junior captain Julian Perino, who shot a team-leading 89 at last year’s NVL championship. The Hawks will also be led by senior captain Alec Feducia, who broke into the 40s three times last year, including a season-best 43.
Sophomore Josh Hassan gives Woodland a solid one-two punch along with Perino. At the NVL championship match last year Hassan showed how much his game developed as he shot a 94 and then went on to score a 91 at the Division III championship.
Junior Chris Guerrette also broke into the 40s three times last year with a season-best 45. He gives Woodland an experienced top four to start with. Seniors Thomas “TJ” Giarratona and Joshua Sierra will help to shore up the five and six spots.
Freshman Tom Conroy is being looked on to join the Hawks’ top seven. Carangelo is hoping that Conroy develops like Hassan did last season. Hassan began shooting in the high 40s, hitting 47 and 48 in his first two matches. By season’s end Hasaan was a co-medalist shooting back-to-back 42s.
“We are coming into the season looking to be competitive,” Carangelo said. “We have a couple of strong players at the top of the lineup. Julian is a good leader and Josh has really developed into a solid player.
“We will have to share our home course (Oxford Greens) with Seymour, who is fielding a team this year. I feel comfortable with our one through five, and hopefully our seniors can give us a solid four-five-six.”
Woodland is scheduled to start the season April 11 against Crosby at Oxford Greens. The Hawks will then take on Kennedy and Wilby April 13 at Western Hills in Waterbury.
“With the way the weather has been it’s probably to our advantage not to start the season facing some of the top guns in the league, Watertown and Holy Cross,” Carangelo said. “It allows us to get our feet wet and develop our game, gaining some confidence before we have to take on the tougher teams in the league.”