Baptism by fire


NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck golf team began the season with some of the heavy hitters in the NVL.

The ‘Hounds kicked off the season against last year’s NVL champion, Holy Cross, followed by NVL runner-up Watertown.

“Starting out against Holy Cross and Watertown, I wouldn’t want it any other way,” Naugatuck head coach Bob Clark said. “If you want to be the best you need to play the best and what better time to face them than early in the season.”

Facing stiff competition early on will only help the Greyhounds, Clark said.

“That will immediately tell us where we are and where we need to go,” he said. “Our kids know how to play the game of golf, but they are raw and inexperienced when it comes to playing competitively.”

On Tuesday, Naugatuck took on undefeated Woodland and fell, 169-236, to drop to 1-4 on the season.

Kody Butler is the first Greyhound this season to break into the 40s. He led the team with a 47 on Tuesday. Nick Fox, Chris Sheedy and Dan Martins all came in with a round of 63.

Clark said the effort is there.

“I’m proud of the effort these kids are putting into this,” he said. “We are putting into place the building blocks for the future of this program. And at the end of the day when they come off the course with a smile on their face that’s what it’s all about. After all it’s a game, and as kids they are suppose to be having fun.”

Naugatuck picked up a win in a three-team match against Holy Cross and Wilby to start the season. Holy Cross fired a 169 with Naugatuck putting up a 244 and Wilby shooting a 269. Butler led the ‘Hounds with a 57, followed by Fox with a 60, P.J. Murphy with a 63 and Sheedy with a 64.

“Murphy is a good emotional leader keeping the kids loose,” Clark said.

Clark said Jake Alcorace will make his season debut this week, which will help immensely.

“It will give us two solid golfers who can break into the 40s,” he said.

On April 22, Naugy fell to Watertown, 159-232. Butler led the way with a 56 followed by Murphy with a 57. Sheedy hit a 59 and Erica Spino hit a 60.

Naugatuck continues to improve its game every time they are out on the course.

The ‘Hounds came up short to St. Paul Monday by a 195-215 final as all four Naugatuck golfers shot in the 50s.

Sheedy led the way hitting a 52 with Butler right behind with a 53. Murphy and Martins checked in with rounds of 55 in the lowest scoring total of the season for Naugatuck.

“Sheedy has been a pleasant surprise,” Clark said. “He could be the third guy who can break into the 40s for us. We are a team that by mid May, we are going to be hitting our peak.”

Clark added that Butler is becoming a better leader with every match. On Tuesday, Clark said, Butler learned a valuable lesson to help continue his growth.

“Butler has been getting better leading the way with every match. Today he learned how to grind it out. He hit a 10 on the third hole and still wound up hitting a 47. That goes to show you the potential he has.”

Naugatuck is scheduled to get back on the course Thursday to face Kennedy. The Greyhounds will be at the Farmingbury Hills to take on Wolcott May 4, before hosting Sacred Heart at Hop Brook May 5.