BY KEN MORSE
The NVL golf championship was a showdown between three teams at the top of the circuit, led by St. Paul (14-1-1), Watertown (13-1) and Holy Cross (12-4), as teams throughout the league teed off of June 2 at the Watertown Country Club.
St. Paul lost to Watertown during the regular season and just got by Holy Cross by three strokes. But with the chance to defend their 2021 NVL title, the Falcons came out swinging and repeated as champions scoring a team total of 328.
Watertown was just off the pace finishing as runner-up with a total of 338 and Holy Cross put up a strong showing, finishing third with a 349.
The much-improved Naugatuck Greyhounds (8-7) finished fourth with a score of 416. Logan McKinney led the ‘Hounds, shooting a 92. Ethan Vicente was at 107, Vin Ferrucci hit a 108 and Dan Testone came in at 109. The rest of the Greyhounds came in with Nate Testone at 122, Liz Nixon at 122 and Sophia Schade at 138.
It was the highest showing for the Garnet and Grey since the 2014 season under coach Craig Blanchard (17-7), when Naugy placed fifth.
Naugy coach Peter Kovalski, in his fifth year at the helm, saw his team grow by leaps and bounds this season. He never missed a chance to turn any obstacle into a teaching moment.
“One time I poured a bucket of balls in the woods,” said Kovalski. “I figured if you are going to keep hitting the ball in the woods then you are going to be the best team out there playing the ball out of the woods.
“(I’m) very proud of this team and how hard they worked and how much they improved. The first winning season in eight years says a lot about the growth of this team. We have a good foundation to build from next season. We are only graduating two seniors, Logan and Ethan.”
Woodland had a challenging season under first-year coach Mike Magas, finishing with a 5-11 mark. The Hawks shot a total of 322 among three golfers and didn’t have enough players to qualify for team standings. Mark Barbarito led the way with a 105, Dean Norton shot a 107 and Aiden Ianniruberto had a 110.
“We came in where I figured we would,” said Magas. “All season long we have been consistent with our scores. But we were a young team and there is a lot of room for improvement. We only lose on senior to graduation, Mark Barbarito. So we have a good foundation for next season.
“Aiden will be a senior next season and will be our leader. Dean and Nick Sciarretto will be juniors and we also had three freshman, Sarah Kennedy, Blake Rankin, and Constantino Rinaldi, who hopefully will be able to contribute next season.”
BY KEN MORSE