NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck golf team has plenty of experience heading into the 2014 season.
The Greyhounds’ lineup could feature as many as five seniors, including three-year captain Nick Tribanas, who shot a 79 in the Naugatuck Valley League championship at the par-72 Watertown Country Club last year. Tribanas’ score was seven strokes off the medalist round and earned All-NVL Copper Division honors.
“Nick has really been the mainstay of this team,” longtime Naugy head coach Craig Blanchard said. “He’s been very committed to improving his game.”
While Tribanas will likely hold the No. 1 spot in the lineup, others have also improved their mechanics since last season. Seniors Brendan Waldron and Tyler Sounanthanam should also be in the everyday lineup.
Waldron shot a 94 at the NVLs, while Sounanthanam shot a 96.
Blanchard said last year’s NVL outing was one of the team’s best in recent years and could give Naugy some momentum heading into this spring with so many seasoned players.
“Brendan is a four-year player,” Blanchard said. “He’s definitely shown some improvement and has become more consistent.”
Sounanthanam features a natural, seemingly effortless swing with some good distance off the tee. Blanchard said Waldron and Sounanthanam could be difference-makers on how well Naugy performs as a team.
Dan Capone, another senior, has a solid short game that will give him an edge at Hop Brook Golf Course, Naugy’s home course. Capone shot in the low 40s twice late last season and has become one of the team’s best putters.
Senior Tom Karas could also work his way into the lineup. Blanchard said to also watch several younger players that could have breakout seasons, including sophomores Jake Alcorace and Nick Fox.
Alcorace has been working to improve his game off the tee, while Fox brings a nice swing and can hit the ball a long way.
Junior Patrick Murphy is an athlete who has spent a lot of time working with Waldron to improve his game. Murphy will see time at the JV level and could see time in a varsity match.
Freshman Kody Butler has also shown some potential.
Blanchard said that Watertown, Torrington, Wolcott and Holy Cross will be the teams to beat this season in the NVL.
The ‘Hounds open their NVL season with two home matches. On Monday, Naugy will play Wolcott and Wilby, and the next day the Greyhounds will host Sacred Heart and Kennedy.