Naugy tees off at NVLs

Korowotny wins girls championship

Naugatuck’s Meghan Korowotny, right, won the Naugatuck Valley League girls golf championship May 31 at the Watertown Golf Club. Sacred Heart’s Veronica Diaz, left, and Kylee Dubroski tied for second. -JOE PALLADINO/REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

WATERTOWN — Every team that took the course at the Watertown Golf Club last Thursday knew the Naugatuck Valley League golf championship would end up a two-team shootout between defending champion Holy Cross and Torrington.

And that’s how it played out. The Crusaders won their second straight title, shooting a 340, and Torrington was runner-up with a round of 360.

“We knew going in that it was going to be a tough go of it going up against Holy Cross, Torrington, Sacred Heart and St. Paul,” Naugatuck head coach Peter Kovalski said. “But we just tried to stay focused and do the things that we could control, and that was to play our game.”

Naugatuck finished the championship in eighth place with a team score of 444 for the 18-hole round. The Greyhounds have made vast improvements from where they started the season under Kovalski, who’s in his first year at the helm.

“We started the year shooting 240-250 as a team and ended the season around 216,” Kovalski said. “That’s a 30-stroke improvement, and I’m not sure they have experienced that kind improvement over the past few seasons.”

The bright spot for the Greyhounds came in the girls division of the championships.

Naugy sophomore Meghan Korowotny won the individual girls title. The ten entrants in the girls championship found out just before tee time that the format was changed from a nine-hole tournament to an 18-hole event.

Playing 18 holes for the first time, Korowotny fired a 107 to take home the title.

“I’m just really happy that girls are getting more into golf,” Korowotny told the Republican-American. “This is one of the best rounds I’ve ever played, my first time on this course, and my first time playing 18 holes. I had a good time.”

Kovalski wasn’t surprised by the sophomore’s performance.

“I saw from the beginning of the year that she was going to be a good player,” Kovalski said. “And what a way to finish the season, she really came alive today and beat out a couple of Sacred Heart girls by one stroke.”

The rest of the girls foursome finished in the middle of the pack. Junior Mia Rotatori finished sixth (124), senior Abi Pruchnicki was seventh (125), and junior Sofia Marques took ninth (140).

Sophomore Joe Macary shot a team-best 100, finishing 22nd in the field of 36 golfers, to lead the boys team.

“Joe finished in the middle of the pack but from where he started at the beginning of the season to where he ended up it’s a big improvement,” Kovalski said. “We are a young team and we did make some progress. We have some room to improve but it was a good way to end the season on a good note.”

Senior Arbnor Mehmedi shot a solid round of 104 and tied for 23rd. Junior Derek McGrath put together a round of 114 and tied for 32nd. Senior Madison Brink, who shot a team-best round of 47 during the regular season, competed in the boys tournament and shot a 126.

Kovalski said he hopes the players work on their game over the summer, pointing to the improvements made over two months of the season.

“You don’t get better at anything without putting in the work, and these kids have the potential to get better,” Kovalski said.