The Naugatuck golf team will look to get back into the swings of things next year after finishing this season 3-13.
The Greyhounds started the season with a roster of nine golfers, but only three that had any varsity experience. The small numbers hindered the Greyhounds at times, including down the stretch when they forfeited two of their final four matches because they couldn’t field the required foursome to make it an official match.
“We have developed some players but we didn’t have the numbers to be competitive,” head coach Peter Kovalski said. “Naugatuck is a town that has its own golf course, so you would hope to generate more interest at this level.”
Naugatuck will graduate only one senior, Derek McGrath, who has been a stable part of the foursome over the past two seasons. McGrath shot four rounds in the 40s and nine in the 50s this year, with a season-low of 46.
Junior Joe Macary and sophomore Ryan Hunt continued to improve and will be the top two golfers coming back next season.
Macary had nine rounds in the 50s and a season-low of 49. Hunt, who earned medalist honors three times, shot five rounds in the 40s and nine in the 50s, and had a season-low of 44.
“McGrath had a good year for us,” Kovalski said. “Hunt has developed into a solid player and he has two more years to improve for us. Macary has room for improvement as well, but showed at times what he can do on a good day.”
Sophomore Zach Crosswait and junior Liz Kilmer were also frequent contributors in the lineup, gaining varsity experience.
The Greyhounds ended the regular season with losses to Wolcott, 187-217, May 22 and to O’Brien Tech, 206-228, May 28, with a forfeit to St. Paul in between.
McGrath led the way against Wolcott with a 47, followed by Macary (50), Hunt (56) and Kilmer (64). Against O’Brien Tech, McGrath and Hunt both shot at 49. Macary shot a 60 and Crosswait shot a 70.
Naugatuck didn’t compete as a team at the Naugatuck Valley league championships May 30 at the Watertown Golf Club, but the Greyhounds were represented by McGrath, Macary and Hunt.
McGrath tied for ninth with a round of 85 on the par 71, 18-hole course. Macary came in 24th with a 99 and Hunt shot a 108 to tie for 31st.
“We have some players that can be successful,” Kovalski said. “All said and done I would have liked to finish the season stronger. Given if we had a more committed group we could have put five or six more matches in the win column. Competing in the NVL is hard enough, having to take forfeits because you don’t have enough players just makes it that much harder.”
Woodland sends three to NVL tournament: Three golfers competed for the Hawks at the NVL championships, with two scoring in the boys competition and one in the girls competition.
Junior Tom Conroy, the only player with varsity experience entering this season, tied for seventh with an 83. Freshman Mark Barbarito completed a solid rookie season by placing 25th with a 100. The field consisted of 38 golfers.
Because the Hawks elected to only have Conroy and Barbarito play in the boys tournament, the team did not post a score toward the team standings.
Freshman Skylar DeFazio also competed in the girls tournament and tied for fifth in the seven-golfer field with a 132.
The Hawks finished the regular season with a 6-9 record.