Naugy golf hopes to be in the mix this season

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BY KEN MORSE
CITIZEN’S NEWS
Golf is the type of game where it all depends on what you do on the links. You have zero control over what your opponent does. When it comes right down to it, you are just looking to be par for the course.
That’s where the Naugatuck Greyhounds find themselves as they gear up for another season against some of the NVL top teams like Watertown, Holy Cross and St. Paul. It’s really anyone’s game, and Waterbury Co-op proved that last season by going out and winning the league championship.
“I think with the players we have returning they can make their way around the course and they can be competitive,” said Naugy head coach Pete Kovalski, entering his sixth year at the helm. “We have a lot of new kids and the largest group we’ve had since I’ve been here. My biggest hope for this year is that the newer kids really take advantage of practice and work hard and take up this game, because it’s a game you have to continually work at to get better.”
Naugy returns juniors Nate Testone, Sean Sterling, Liz Nixon and Sophia Schade, along with sophomore Gino Ferrucci. The Greyhounds graduated their top two players, Dan Testone and Vin Ferrucci, and Kovalski is looking for the younger siblings, Nate (Testone) and Gino (Ferrucci) to take up that mantle.
Leading the newcomers this season are seniors Jett Hall and Anthony Montini. Other players who have shown promise are juniors Joe Casso and Maya DelPino, along with sophomores Mackenzie Mitchell, Parker Byron and Marcos Prieto Pena.
Freshman Gia Lennon has shown she’s got game, along with freshman Mohammed Rilvan, Chance Bendler and Josiah Edwards.
Naugy opened the season Apr. 10 at Hop Brook Golf Course, hosting Torrington and came up on the short end, 202-218. Gino Ferrucci was co-medalist, shooting a solid round of 44 to lead the Greyhounds.
Nixon shot the second-best round on the team with a 55 and Montini came in with a 56. Lennon was the fourth seed for Naugy, checking in with a 65. Jett Hall was the fifth seed and scored a 63.
Naugatuck freshman Gia Lennon tees off as the Greyhounds got the season underway on April 10, taking on Torrington at Hop Brook Golf Course.
“I think we are ready to go out and have a good season,” said Nixon. “Most of the returning players have a couple of years under our belt and we are confident that we can be competitive.
“Gia is a new player and I think she has a lot of potential. We have some solid players one through four. I had a rough first year as a freshman but I feel I have improved my game and having Hop Brook as our home course is really beneficial and it has helped us all improve our game.”
Naugy was scheduled to start its week on Monday against Watertown. St. Paul and Wolcott were up next on Wednesday. The Hounds are scheduled to host Seymour on Thursday.
“We have a lot of really good kids,” added Kovalski. “The town gave us a tremendously generous donation with golf bags and golf shirts. The mayor, the golf commission they all came together for these kids and the team is psyched. They wear it proudly and that builds their confidence.”
Kovalski continued: “But the bottom line is, if I can foster a love of the game in them and build team camaraderie that will serve more than any wins or losses we have this year.”