BY KEN MORSE
The Naugatuck golf team is growing by leaps and bounds and improving at the same rate led by a trio of seniors; Logan McKinney, Joe Pinho and Ethan Vicente.
Greyhounds coach Peter Kovalski, in his fifth year at the helm, feels this team can be competitive.
“Logan is our top player with the most experience,” said Kovalski. “We have a few players who have the ability to make an impact. That should give us a solid four player rotation to put out there and be competitive.”
Juniors Vin Ferrucci and Dan Testone are the kind of impact players that coach Kovalski was referring to, and freshman Nate Testone who came up through the ranks of the Hop Brook Junior program, will get a chance to see if he can make his presence felt.
Sophomores Jaylyn Brown and Leo Oliveira are new to the game, and freshmen Sophia Schade and Elizabeth Nixon will be looked on to show improvement throughout the season.
Naugy came out swinging against St. Paul, one of the league’s top contenders every year, at Westwood in Bristol on April 11 and dropped a close 161-178 decision.
“In the past years we would have lost a match against St. Paul by at least 30 strokes,” said Kovalski. “So to be within 17 strokes among four players, that shows me that we can compete.”
McKinney led the way with a solid round of 40 followed by Ferrucci with a 41. The Testone brothers took it from there with Nate hitting a strong 43 and Dan settling in at 49.
“We can play six players max out for a round and the top four scores count,” said Kovalski. “I really want to get the younger players to get their basic skills down before I have them come out and follow the starters on the course.
“The key is to help them develop their game. When we are home at Hop Brook, we have them work on the putting game or hitting into the net to learn to get the swing down.”
On April 13, the Greyhounds took a step forward earning a 219-228 win over Woodland at Hop Brook. McKinney was the medalist shooting a 48. Nate Testone finished with a 51, Dan Testone had a 54 and Pinho came in at 66.
“You are not going to hit good shots all the time,” added Kovalski. “The key is to minimize the mistakes and gain some consistency with the good shots. It’s not about the perfect shot, it’s about if you miss a shot you want to at least miss it and still have it in the fairway as opposed to the woods and out of bounds.”
Naugatuck is scheduled for a pair of tough matches; Wolcott on April 18 and Holy Cross on April 20.
BY KEN MORSE