Hawks have talent to overcome small roster

Woodland’s Josh Hassan, pictured, and Julian Perino will lead the Hawks at the Naugatuck Valley League championship match on May 31. –RA ARCHIVE

BEACON FALLS — In golf, having the lowest number is usually a good thing. That hasn’t always been this case this season for the Woodland golf team, which has been hampered by a small roster.

The Hawks have only five players on the roster and if a couple can’t make a match, Woodland has to forfeit. The Hawks are 6-6, but three of those losses came by forfeit.

“We just don’t have the numbers we used to,” Woodland head coach Bill Carangelo said. “When we lost our JV program a lot of kids felt they couldn’t make the varsity and didn’t come out this year.”

Under the guidance of Carangelo, Woodland has finished as the Naugatuck Valley League runner-up twice in the last three years.

The Hawks head into the NVL championship match not as deep as they have been, but they still have the talent to compete.

Senior Julian Perino, a four-year player and a three-time All-NVL selection, has been a regular medalist over his career. Perino led Woodland with a 38 on Monday against Sacred Heart, a match the Hawks lost 185-189. Perino earned co-medalist honors for the round with Sacred Heart’s Jack Vaillancourt.

Junior Josh Hassan, who was named to last year’s All-Iron team, has been a steady player the past three years. In a match against Kennedy last Thursday — one Kennedy had to forfeit due to only having three players — Hassan shot a 40 to earn medalist honors.

Perino and Hassan won the Jack Stigberg Memorial Tournament this month at Farmingbury Hills Golf Course with a combined even-par score of 70.

Senior Chris Guerrette, junior Alec Robinson and sophomore Tom Conroy round out the Hawks’ lineup. Versus Kennedy, Guerrette shot a 49 and Conroy had a 53. Guerrette and Conroy followed that up with rounds of 51 and 59, respectively, against Sacred Heart.

“We have our top two players in Perino and Hassan who can keep us competitive,” Carangelo said. “The other three are improving but they still struggle with their scores a little bit.

“Conroy is only a sophomore but is hitting the ball well. He has made progress but he struggles at times to keep his score down. He was part of that feeder program, and without that in place it really hurt our numbers.”

The NVL championship match is set for next Thursday at the Watertown Golf Club.

“We are going to go out there and play the best we can,” Carangelo said. “Watertown is in the same boat we are in, losing a lot of numbers in their program. The teams to beat will be Holy Cross and Torrington.”