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Shires, Hawks hit the links for new season

HOULTON, Maine — Although classes have yet to resume, the high school sports season has officially begun as Houlton’s golf team traveled to Bangor Friday to take on John Bapst.

Hodgdon golfers, however, will have to wait until Aug. 30 to see their first action of the season.

Veteran Houlton golf coach Dave Grant is excited for the new season, as the Shires were one step away from bringing home a state title last year. Houlton finished 16-1 during the regular season and finished second to Mattanawcook Academy at the state Class C championship.

Boasting one of the largest teams in his seven-year tenure with the program, Grant said he has a strong mixture of returning veterans and talented newcomers on the squad. He has twice taken the Shires to state runners-up titles, with the second coming in 2012.

Houlton’s roster includes seniors Nick Brewer, Wyatt Harvey, Rhetta Vega, Ryder Graham; juniors Isaac Vega, Sydney Lorom and Matthew Seder; and freshmen Garrett Harvey, Colin Moody, Colin Avery and Kye Flewelling. The Vegas and Harveys are siblings.

The Shires lost just one scoring member from last year’s state runner-up team, but it was one of Houlton’s best golfers, Drew Marino. At states, Marino tied for seventh with an 84 over 18 holes at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro.

Hodgdon’s Brian Barton taps in a putt during a match last season. Barton is Hodgdon’s top returning golfer this season.
(Joseph Cyr)

A change in the Penobscot Valley Conference championship will make things a bit more interesting this season, according to Grant.

“They have taken 12 teams and divided us up into a north and south division,” Grant said. “The winner of the north will play the winner of the south. At that same time, it will also be the team qualifier (for states) as well as the individual boys qualifier.”

That match takes place on Sept. 27 in Lincoln at the JATO golf course. One day earlier, the girls qualifier will be played at Barnes Brook Golf Course in West Enfield.

Wyatt Harvey and Brewer look to be the Shires top two golfers this year.  

“Best case scenario, I think we can qualify five boys and two girls for individuals at states,” Grant said. “I like our chances in the team championship too.”

Houlton golf 164, Carlisle 190, John Bapst 190, Greenville, 209 — At Pine Hill Golf Club in Orrington Friday, Wyatt Harvey and Collin Moody were the medalists with 39s as the Shires outscored three other teams to open the season with victories.

Other scores for Houlton were: Nick Brewer, 43; Isaac Vega, 43; Garrett Harvey, 49; Rhetta Vega, 54; and Sydney Lorom, 55.

Hawks in rebuilding mode

Hodgdon golf coach Mike Fleming is not sure what to expect from his young golfers this season. The Hawks currently have just three golfers — junior Brian Barton, sophomore Elijah Matheson and freshman Lucas Matheson — on the team this year. The Mathesons are brothers.

With only three golfers, Hodgdon will not be able to score as a team, but the trio can still qualify for states as individuals.  A fourth golfer, Nathan Tuttle, may still join the group as he was with the team a season ago.

“We have a real limited schedule this year, competing in the Aroostook League,” Fleming said. “The Aroostook League appears to be

Hodgdon has just four regular season matches on its schedule, starting at home Aug. 30 against Central Aroostook. The Hawks play their home matches at the Houlton Community Golf Course.

The only other squad on the Hawks’ schedule is Ashland.

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