Defending state champs in rebuilding mode

5 years ago

HOULTON, Maine — After coming off a storybook season a year ago, complete with winning the state Class C championship, Houlton golf coach Dave Grant is counting on new faces to carry the team this fall.Last year, the Shires took home the top honors with a whopping 19-stroke victory over St. Dominics at states. The Shires fired a low score of 333 to easily distance themselves from St. Dominics’ total of 352. It marked the fifth state golf title for the Shires and first since 2009.  

Houlton finished the season with an impressive 23-3 regular season record, with its only losses coming to Mount Desert Island, which finished second in Class B.

But, the Shires lost lost several key players from that squad as Nick Brewer (who also won the state individual golf title), Wyatt Harvey, Rhetta Vega and Ryder Graham all graduated. The team also lost one of its best female golfers, Sydney Lorom, who chose to play soccer for her senior year.

“Our potential is really high,” coach Grant said. “Our top three can play with anybody. The remaining four through nine are anybody’s guess on any given day. The good news is that the same thing is true for every team in Class C this year across the board.”

Houlton’s squad consists of seniors Isaac Vega and Matt Seder; junior Sidney Peabody; sophomores Colin Moody, Garrett Harvey, Kollin Irish and Gage Bartlett and freshmen Madalyn Quirk and Abigail Fitzpatrick.

“I think we are going to peak at just the right time,” Grant said.

A new wrinkle in scoring this year sees teams able to send six golfers to states, with the top four scoring. Last year, only five golfers were able to compete.

In a home match Thursday, the Shires improved to 5-2 on the season with a 191-197 victory over Mattanawcook Academy. MA’s Brandon Savage was medalist on the day with a 39 on the par 36 Houlton Community Golf Course.

Results for Houlton were: Vega 43, Harvey 51, Moody 50, Seder 47, Irish 59, Bartlett 61 and Quirk 63.