Hawks, Hounds back on the links

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By Ken Morse, Citizen’s News

Naugatuck’s Ryan Hunt watches his tee shot on the first hole during a match against Sacred Heart-Crosby at East Mountain Golf Course in Waterbury on April 14. -STEVEN VALENTI/REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

After being away from the links last season, the Naugatuck and Woodland golf teams are swinging for the fairways again.

The Hawks and Hounds each got one match under the belts in the first week of the season.

Woodland hosted perennial NVL favorite Watertown on April 12 at Oxford Greens. Watertown took the win, 189-214.

Mark Barbarito put up the Hawks’ best round with a 49. Ryan Bucciferro (51), Albert Marchant (56) and Aden Ianniruberto (58) rounded out the scoring for Woodland.

Head coach Bill Carangelo is optimistic that his young team, which has eight players on the roster, will improve as the season progresses.

“It certainly felt good to get back out there,” Carangelo said. “Now that we don’t have a JV program we have a much smaller team numbers wise. But it’s a nice group to work with and allows me to get them all out there on the course.”

“The kids are excited and happy to be back,” he added. “It’s kind of hard to hit the ground running since we only started back up on March 29. So we had minimal time to get ready for our first match.”

The Hawks had a week before their match April 20 against Torrington, and Carangelo planned to work with his players on some of the finer points of the game to take a few strokes off their scores.

“We will definitely improve,” he said. “The kids are working hard.”

Naugatuck got the season underway with a 214-226 loss to Sacred Heart on April 14.

Ryan Hunt led the Hounds with a 53. Ethan Vicente (55), Luke Deitelbaum (55) and Vin Ferrucci (63) scored for Naugy.

Naugatuck’s Logan McKinney tees off on the first hole during a match against Sacred Heart-Crosby at East Mountain Golf Course in Waterbury on April 14. -STEVEN VALENTI/REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Head coach Pete Kovalski was encouraged by the scores.

“The kids who put up the scores in the 50s have been playing for the past three weeks,” Kovalski said. “They may be young but they are putting a lot of time in besides practice and matches. They will go out and play another nine holes after practice and play three more times on the weekend. They really like the game and are putting in the work to get better, which is nice to see.”

Kovalski said the team is inexperienced but has room for realistic improvement with all the work the players are putting in.

“We only lost by 12 strokes, and if we can get four or five mistakes out of the way you can take enough strokes off to put your score in a more competitive 40s range,” he said.

“I emphasized working on the short game because that is the easiest part of your game to improve,” he added. “You drop a four putt to a three putt on four or five holes, you are shaving four or five shots off your score.”

Naugatuck is scheduled to play Torrington on April 19, Woodland on April 21 and Wolcott on April 26.

After the match with Naugy, Woodland is scheduled to play Seymour on April 22.