Season preview: Golf

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Naugatuck

2019 results: 3-13

Graduated: Joe Macary, Adam Lyons, Elizabeth Kilmer, Meghan Korowotny

Seniors: Ryan Hunt

Season opener: April 12 vs. Holy Cross at Western Hills

The Greyhounds come back with a novice group of golfers, a year after the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rebuilding phase of the program was put on hold last year. This season, coach Peter Kovalski will look to his lone senior, Ryan Hunt, to help lead the team forward.

“Ryan was a medalist in a couple of matches in 2019 and will be the leader on this team,” Kovalski said. “He’s a regular player at Hop Brook and even worked at the course, so he knows it better than any of the new players.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing him compete in his final high school season,” Kovalski added. “We have a full team signed up, and I would like to see them develop and improve as golfers throughout the season.”

Woodland

2019 results: 6-9

Graduated: Tom Conroy

Season opener: April 12 vs. Watertown

Two seasons ago, Woodland spent most of the season focusing on helping its younger players gain experience — the Hawks had one junior, one sophomore and six freshmen on that roster. That lone upperclassman was Tom Conroy, who has since graduated, but his leadership during that season could pay dividends now.

Junior Mark Barbarito was the top freshman on that team, and fellow junior Skylar DeFazio also improved drastically during that season. They are the two top returning players among this year’s bunch.

“Mark’s hitting the ball better and Skylar’s hitting the ball better,” coach Bill Carangelo said after a couple of sessions at the driving range. “How well we do is going to depend on how the other teams do.”

Carangelo hoped that more players would join the program after seeing numbers trail off in recent years, and the goal is to return to sending a full team to the league tournament after only having Conroy and Barbarito play in 2019. There are seven golfers on the team this season, so Carangelo hopes to see improvement over the next two months.

“We’d love to win an NVL title, but realistically, this year I just want to be competitive and have everybody get better each match,” Carangelo said.