Preview: Area teams contend for golf titles this week

  • Hopkinton golf senior Evan Fairneny (center) poses with parents Fred (left) and Natalie on Hopkinton’s Senior Day on Sept. 7 at Country Club of New Hampshire. Evan has earned medalist honors four times and been a consistent top golfer for the Hawks. Hopkinton is looking to wrap up the season with a championship on Tuesday. Courtesy of Jason Ammann

  • Pembroke golfer Andy Chiavaras hits his approach shot on the eighth hole at Beaver Meadow golf course as Bow’s Hunter Duncan watches on Sept. 15. Chiavaras and Duncan will both compete in the D-II championship on Thursday. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Bow golfer Hunter Duncan on his approach shot on the ninth hole at Beaver Meadow golf course on Sept. 15. Duncan and the Falcons are seeking their ninth title in the last 11 years, but Bow’s first in Division II. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Concord’s Read Merrill makes a putt to complete the second hole at Bretwood Golf Course during Concord’s season opener at Keene on Aug. 24. Merrill and his teammates return to Bretwood on Thursday for the D-I championships. Hannah Schroeder / The Keene Sentinel

Monitor staff
Published: 10/10/2022 4:37:14 PM

It’s going to be a busy week on the links for area high school golf teams. Team champions will be crowned in all four divisions of NHIAA competition, as will individual champions right here in Concord at Beaver Meadow.

The top eight teams in every division (based on win-loss record) qualified for their respective division championship. Division III will tee off at Windham Country Club and Division IV will compete at Mount Washington Resort Golf Club on Tuesday. Division I will be contested at Bretwood Golf Course and Division II will be played at Ridgewood Country Club, both on Thursday.

The 18 holes played in the team championship also double as the first round of the individual championship. The top 16 finishers (plus ties) in all four divisions, plus the top six girls from their qualifier on Oct. 1, will compete in an additional round at Beaver Meadow on Saturday. The scores of the two rounds will be combined to determine the individual champions in each division.

Here are the teams competing (with regular season records) and a look at how area programs fared in the regular season.

Division I

Teams competing: Exeter (27-0), Concord (21-3), Dover (19-4), Keene (21-5), Bedford (18-5), Pinkerton (18-8), Londonderry (13-10), Hanover (12-11).

Notes: The Tide lost to defending champions Bedford, undefeated and defending runner-up Exeter and Keene so far this season, but have also beaten Bedford and Keene in the regular season. Concord opened and closed the regular season with matches at Bretwood, so the Tide should benefit from being familiar with the course (Keene’s home course). Junior Gavin Richardson was the medalist in seven of nine matches and has a good shot at an individual title, and leads a Concord lineup that is deep and fluid, where anyone can stand out on any given day. Carl Sirrianna, Brett McDonough, Read Merrill and Jack Shoemaker have also been regular scorers this season. The Tide will need a strong showing from top to bottom to knock of the undefeated Blue Hawks.

Division II

Teams competing: Bow (26-2), Windham (25-3), Winnacunnet (24-4), Portsmouth (20-8), Timberlane (18-10), Oyster River (17-11), St. Thomas (17-12), Trinity (17-12).

Missed the cut: Pembroke (11th, 9-19).

Notes: Bow has won eight of the last 10 D-III titles and look to extend their streak in their inaugural D-II tourney. The Falcons split the regular season matches with Windham (2-2) and those two, plus Winnacunnet, are the favorites for the team title. Bow had four golfers make the cut for the individual championship in 2021 and 2020, and with a talented and deep crew led by senior Cam Evans, juniors Hunter Duncan and Sean Guerrette, and sophomore Owen Webber, the Falcons are capable of doing that again. Any Falcons who make the cut will be dangerous on Saturday, as they will be playing for the individual crown on their home course.

Division III

Teams competing: Derryfield (24-1), Lebanon (23-4), Souhegan (22-4), Pelham (19-6), Coe-Brown (19-7), Kearsarge (16-11), ConVal (15-12).

Missed the cut: Bishop Brady (11th, 6-21), John Stark (13th, 4-23).

Notes: With four championships in the last decade (two in D-III, two in D-IV), Derryfield was the one thorn in Bow’s side for the last decade, but now the path looks clear for the Cougars to take the title. But Derryfield’s only loss this season came courtesy of Coe-Brown at Nippo Lake.  The Bears are led by juniors Jack Smith and Hunter Demas, and sophomore Alex Myslinsky. Also keep an eye on Bishop Brady’s Chris Grimbilas, a fixture in the top three of matches during the regular season. Beaver Meadow is Brady’s home course, so Grimbilas will be a threat individually if he makes the cut.

Division IV

Teams competing :Hopkinton (29-1), Mascenic (26-1), Woodsville (26-3), Conant (24-3), Fall Mountain (21-6), Gilford (20-9), White Mountains (16-12), Prospect Mountain (14-11), Campbell (14-11).

Missed the cut: Concord Christian (10th, 11-14), Hillsboro-Deering (15th, 8-19).

Notes: The only blemish on Hopkinton’s record came on Aug. 24 to Mascenic – the first match of the season – and the Hawks have since returned the favor (on Sept. 7, the Senior Day match). Senior Evan Fairneny was the medalist in four of 10 matches, although sophomore Bronson Ammann also earned that distinction in a match. Senior Hal Stokes and junior Zach Hopper have also been regular contributors. With a shorter bench than in past years, the Hawks will need their leaders to play well in order to take home the trophy. Concord Christian was just one spot shy of qualifying for the state tournament in its first year as a varsity program, but are sending two strong individuals in Owen Carney and Owen Heizer.

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