Greyhounds ready to tee off

Naugatuck High golf captains, from left, junior Samantha Royka, senior Colin Sheedy and junior Abigail Pruchnicki will lead the Greyhounds this season. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck golf team heads into the season under the guidance of new head coach Richard Troy.

Troy takes the reins from former head coach Bob Clark, who led the Greyhounds to a 5-11 finish last season. The Greyhounds graduated three seniors from last year’s squad. They come into this season young, and one of the few teams in the Naugatuck Valley League that will have co-ed status.

Last season, Naugatuck had one of the few girls’ teams in the league. Clark spearheaded an effort to start a girls’ program in the league that is still a few years away from materializing.

The Greyhounds are led by senior captain Colin Sheedy, the only returning player with significant varsity experience, and junior captains Abigail Pruchnicki and Samantha Royka.

Troy is very high on the other girls on the team, who gained some experience last season. Sophomore Mia Rotatori was the NVL runner-up with a 58 in the first girls’ nine-hole league tournament.

Naugatuck also boasts juniors Hannah Butler, Madison Brink and Marina Sounanthanam along with sophomores Francesca Spino, Katie Brown and Sofia Marques.

“We have a strong leader in Colin (Sheedy), who is our most experienced player coming back,” Troy said. “We do have a lot of girls who gained experience from the girls’ team that was assembled. We will be a co-ed team this year, and I’m real excited about some of the players who came out who are new to the sport. They are athletic and hopefully can add some strength to the lineup.”

Naugatuck senior Josh McFarland was a double-figure scorer for the Greyhounds on the basketball court, and Troy is hoping his athletic skills will transition to success on the links.

Seniors Zack Monck, a former baseball player who hopes to get his swing down to put in some solid rounds, and Conor White are also first-time players.

“So far we have been to the driving range a few times, and from what I see from Josh and Zack they should be valuable additions to the team,” said Troy heading into this week. “Once we get out on the course I will be able to gauge a little better at where some of these younger players are as far as their development. But the goal is to make it to the NVLs and to do well. I realize there may be a bit of a learning curve, but as the season goes on if we continue to make progress we will be all right.”

Sophomores Ryan Brink and Derek McGrath have also shown signs of being able to get some valuable time out on the course. Sophomores Tyler Nixon, Nick Tarmey along with freshmen Joshua Tribanas, Joe Macary, Meghan Korowotny, Elizabeth Kilmer and Alysha Cacace are up-and-coming players.

Naugatuck is scheduled to start the season on April 10 versus Wolcott at the Farmingbury Country Club. The Greyhounds will then travel to Oxford Greens on April 13 to take on Seymour.