Ashland golf in rebuilding mode, but ready to compete
ASHLAND, Maine — The Hornet golf team is looking to build back its program after experiencing plenty of success as recently as three years ago.
The squad was a Class C state qualifier in 2018 after capturing the Aroostook League championship. Coach Jordan Beaulier’s team placed ninth statewide. The following year, the Hornets had four senior starters who had to be replaced.
Beaulier, a teacher at Ashland District School who is in his fifth season as the golf coach, is hoping to use this year to continue the framework of a rebuild which began a season ago.
Last year’s No. 1 golfer and team captain, Alden Routhier, graduated. This year’s squad is without a senior, but Beaulier likes the team’s makeup and is excited to see how his youthful squad develops.
“This golf season will be extremely fun,” he said. “I have a great group of kids to work with and teach, and I know they are going to make great strides.
“If we can get a few wins here and there, it will be a bonus, but I just want the kids to learn to love the game and improve their average scores by the end of the season,” Beaulier added. “They are all working extremely hard and I know they will continue to improve.”
Junior Micah Calhoun is the top returnee. He played No. 2 behind Routhier a season ago and Beaulier said he has continued to play well this season.
Dakota Sutherland, another junior, is new to the team, but appears to be ready to challenge for the top position as he averages between 45 and 52 strokes for nine holes.
Sophomore Ellie Calhoun and junior Clyde Hafford are the other veterans from last year.
Newcomers are freshman Hunter Cunningham and siblings Benny and Nahum Davis, who recently moved to the area and are both homeschooled and beginning golfers.
Beaulier said he is thankful for the team’s home course of Portage Hills Country Club, which allows youth 18 years of age and younger to play for free throughout the summer.
“They do a tremendous service for our students as this allows us to have a wonderful youth program at no cost,” said Beaulier, adding that he and Mike Cote provide lessons throughout the summer and hold a golf camp for all school-age youth, which had 30 participants.
The Hornets have a few more regular season matches remaining as they gear up for the Aroostook League Championships, which are set for Sept. 23 at Mars Hill Country Club. Fort Kent, Hodgdon, Southern Aroostook, Fort Fairfield and Central Aroostook are the other Class C teams from the region that Ashland will be competing against.