Hawks raise the bar

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Woodland's Owen Harris tees off on the 18th hole during the NVL golf championship June 4 at the Country Club of Watertown. The Hawks finished second. -REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN
Woodland’s Owen Harris tees off on the 18th hole during the NVL golf championship June 4 at the Country Club of Watertown. The Hawks finished second. -REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

BEACON FALLS — The Woodland golf team capped a stellar regular season with a second-place finish at the NVL championship June 4 at the Watertown Country Club.

The Hawks (15-1 overall, 9-1 NVL) shot a respectable 344, but Watertown was on its game and shot a 322 to win the championship.

If those scores sound high it’s because the championship is played on a full 18-hole course, rather than the usual nine during league play.

“We could have played better,” head coach Bill Carangelo said. “We left some strokes out on the course and let this one slip away.”

Watertown was the only team to beat the Hawks all year and the Indians got the best of them again at the NVLs.

“Nerves may have gotten the best of us,” Carangelo said. “We played from the back tees, which we weren’t expecting, but there are no excuses. Watertown is a heck of a team and they edged us out.”

Senior Mike Erickson led the Hawks finishing fifth overall with an 81.

“Mike has been strong for us all season and a good leader, too,” Carangelo said.

Senior Will Flormann finished sixth overall with an 84, and junior Ryan Warner tied for ninth overall with an 89.

Flormann was a welcome surprise to the team this season.

“He played as a freshman but then took two years off to play track and improve his speed for football,” Carangelo said.

Flormann came back as a senior and played an important part for the team.

“When he first came out he wasn’t even starting. He shot some rounds in the 50s but soon he was back on track,” said Carangelo.

Woodland followed up a great showing at the NVL championship with a top 10 finish at the CIAC boys D-III championship.

The Hawks tied for tenth place with a 333 (+45) and had a top five individual scorer in Ericson, who shot a 74 (+2).

“We exceeded expectations,” Carangelo said. “We were ranked lower than we finished and that is a good sign.”

Ericson was named All-State and earned NVL honors, as well. Ryan Warner and Julian Perino also earned league honors.

The Hawks’ strong year is something Carangelo hopes they can build on.

“We have a good number of guys coming back for next year. To improve they must play lots of golf over the summer. We have good guys and they just need to stay dedicated to getting better. We can’t rely on having a guy like Will every year,” Carangelo said.

The Hawks have set a standard for themselves on the course. Now all they have to do is raise the bar for good.

“I expect our team to be pretty good for a while. We have the players to do it,” Carangelo said.