New faces on the links for Naugy

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NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck golf team’s season begins Tuesday with some new faces.

The Greyhounds, who lost four seniors to graduation and finished fifth at last year’s Naugatuck Valley League championship, return a possible All-NVL candidate and a solid senior at the top of its lineup.

Sophomore Nick Tribanas has a chance to be among the NVL’s elite players and qualify individually for the State Open, according to coach Craig Blanchard. Blanchard said Tribanas has put in extra work during the offseason and received professional lessons.

“Nick is a good player and he could put together an All-NVL season if he puts it all together,” Blanchard said. “He can hit the ball a long way.”

With Tribanas expected to be in the No. 1 position, senior Matt Schumacher could be the team’s dependable No. 2. Schumacher uses his athleticism to his advantage and has the ability to put together some solid rounds.

“Matt can also hit the ball a long way,” Blanchard said. “He’s continuing to work on his approach shots and short game.”

After the top two spots, Blanchard expects to use a group of players interchangeably. Four sophomores are in the mix.

Sophomores Tom Karas, Tyler Souanthanam, Dan Capone and Brendon Waldron will all be vying for the Nos. 3-5 positions. While consistency is the goal, each has talent to work with as the season progresses.

In addition, Blanchard said freshman Matt Jackson will also get an opportunity to earn a spot among the five scoring positions.

Overall, Blanchard said expectations are simply to get better every day and continue to work on fundamentals. With a lack of playing time experience, Naugy will look to take advantage of its home matches at Hop Brook.

After opening against Woodland on Tuesday at Oxford Greens, the Greyhounds host Kennedy at Hop Brook on April 11. The match will serve as an ideal time to build some confidence at the start of the season.

“We just have to keep working on our game, get better and show improvement,” Blanchard said.