BEACON FALLS — The Woodland golf team took on Naugatuck on Monday and came up on the short end of a 171-188 final at Hop Brook Golf Course.
The Hawks are led by two seniors, Mike Classey and Matt Greggis, but the rest of the squad is an up-and-coming group of golfers who continue to make steady progress.
Mike Erickson is only a sophomore but is the leading player after finishing last year’s Naugatuck Valley League championships as one of only six golfers to break into the 80s, shooting an 86 over 18 holes.
Junior Andy O’Dell and sophomore Owen Harris have shaved strokes from their game and freshman Ryan Warner shows a lot of potential.
Erickson led the Hawks against Naugatuck by shooting a 42 with Warner hitting a 45. Classey broke into the 40s with a 49, O’Dell just missed the mark with a 52 and Greggis finished with a 57.
“That was a tough match,” Woodland coach Bill Carangelo said. “We really wanted that match but Naugatuck is starting to play real well as of late. We are still a young team with our three and four spots held by two seniors. But this team has such tremendous potential and they are getting better with each match.”
The team held its second annual Woodland Hawks Invitational at Oxford Greens last Thursday with 20 teams making up the field. The Hawks entered two teams in the 18-hole event with the A team shooting a 371, led by Erickson’s 81, Classey’s 96 and a pair of 97s by Warner and Greggis.
The Hawks’ B team featured Pete Tomlinson, a Seymour student playing with Woodland, who shot an 85. O’Dell followed with a 96, Harris posted a 100 and Ryan Bellavance carded a 124 for a combined total of 405.
Pomperaug won the tournament for the second year in a row, recording a 302. John VanDerLaan was the medalist, recording a scorching round of 68, and teammate Matt VanDoren was second with a 72.
“Pomperaug is a very good team as they had the top two scores of the day,” said Carangelo, who started this tournament last year in his first year as the Hawks’ head coach. “I thought for 18 holes we did well as a team. I would have liked to see us come in a little lower but we continue to make steady progress. All in all the tournament was a success. It was a great day weather-wise and we had 20 teams, more than last year.”
Prior to the tournament, the Hawks put up solid scores in a 171-185 loss to St. Paul. Warner led Woodland with a 42 while Erickson recorded a 43, showing signs of what is to come for the future Hawks on the links. Harris carded a 49 and Classey shot a 51.
“The confidence level is growing as the scores are coming down,” Carangelo added. “We have a good future with Erickson, Warner, Harris and another sophomore coming along in Zack Crowell. O’Dell will be a senior next year and we will have a solid five golfers to work with.”
Woodland has a little more time to hone its game over its final five matches before the NVL championships May 30, when the Hawks will look to improve on last year’s seventh-place finish.