High schools: Freshman leads Stark golfers to second place
John Stark's Matt McFall chips the ball during the match at Carter Country Club, in Lebanon, N.H., on August 27, 2014. (Valley News - Ariana van den Akker)
Coe-Brown's Joel Boulanger watches the trajectory of the ball during the match at Carter Country Club, in Lebanon, N.H., on August 27, 2014. (Valley News - Ariana van den Akker)
Bishop Brady's Jack Bryck tees off during the match at Carter Country Club, in Lebanon, N.H., on August 27, 2014. (Valley News - Ariana van den Akker)
John Stark golf Coach Chris Meehan expected his seniors to improve from last season, but a freshman posting the best score in the opening match wasn’t the first thought on his mind. Yet that is exactly what happened in the Generals’ opening match at Carter Golf Course yesterday.
Freshman Ryan Rothdiener shot a 43, and posed the greatest challenge among local golfers to medalist TJ Barber’s winning score or 38, to lead John Stark to second place. The host Raiders (203) topped a field of four teams, with Stark (231), Coe-Brown (236) and Bishop Brady (238) in a close race for second.
“To have a freshman leading with a 43 in his first time (in a high school match) was very impressive,” Meehan said of Rothdiener’s performance.
Seniors Kyle Kolehmainen (45), Adrian McCarthy-Tiella (48) and Matt McFall (49) all showed improvement and shot well, but it was junior Jacob Blanchette’s round of 46 that put his team ahead of their local rivals.
Teeing off against the other seventh-best golfers from each team, Blanchette’s score of 46 ended up being the third best for John Stark, while the Bears and Green Giants had their seventh-ranked golfers shooting in the low 50s.
“It was a challenging course, I was really proud of the guys,” said Meehan, adding that it was “without a doubt” a confidence booster to beat other local teams with Rothdiener and Blanchette stepping up in addition to the senior leaders.
“We’re gonna have to improve. A score like Lebanon’s in the 203 range is what we’re going to have to shoot to be competitive in Division II, but it was a great start,” Meehan said.
Coe-Brown finished third behind the efforts of scorers Dylan Andrews (45), Taylor Dow (46), Ryan Oliver (48), Joel Belanger (48) and Jeremy Fenerty (49).
The Green Giants finished fourth, but were led by junior Sam Olson, a last-minute transfer from Bow, who adds a little more depth to the Brady squad. Olson’s score of 43 was followed by Jackson Bouley (47), Spencer Fleming (47), Madison Smith (48), Jack Bryck (51) and Danny Bryck (51).
“We’ve got a different team than we used to have,” Brady Coach Ken Gauthier said. “We used to have a couple of guys who shot in the 30s to carry the team. It’s really got to be a team effort this year; we’ll need several guys to play well.”
Merrimack Valley third
Key players: MV – Jesse Demers (46, 9 over par), Brandon Desilets (60), Joe Dougherty (64), Chandler Pierce (66), Alex Lacy (73); Oyster River – Ashley Tewksbury (42, medalist)
Highlights/key moments: Oyster River won a three-team season-opening match hosted by Goffstown at Stonebridge Country Club. The Bobcats’ score of 234 bested the host Grizzlies (244) and the Pride (309). MV’s Demers tied for the third-best score of the day, just four strokes behind the medalist.
Team records: MV 0-2; Oyster River 2-0; Goffstown 1-1