Sports

Shire golfers eager for return to postseason

HOULTON, Maine — Twelfth-year Houlton golf coach Dave Grant is cautiously optimistic about his squad for the new season. 

Featuring a number of returning golfers, the Shires are also bolstered by several newcomers this year. 

Members of the Shire golf team for the fall 2022 season are seniors Madalyn Quirk, Abby Fitzpatrick, Claire Prescott and Cody Johnston; junior Joely Stone; sophomores Thadon Gentle and Mark Thibodeau; and freshmen Janey Stone, Daniel Henderson, Patrick Marino and Emery Nightingale. Joely Stone is injured and is not expected to play this fall.

“There is talent in this group, but getting that talent out is going to be tough,” Grant said. “Thadon and Cody are probably our two best golfers and are the key to how well we do. Our enthusiasm is great. Everyone wants to play well and they know they can.”

This fall also marks the first season that Shire athletes are able to play on two varsity squads during the same season. Johnston, Gentle and Thibodeau are playing both golf and boys soccer this fall.

“It’s tough as a coach,” Grant said of the dual sport athletes. “Juggling practice schedules and games/matches can be extremely difficult.”

The coach expects good things from Quirk and Fitzpatrick this fall. Both have been golfing since the age of 6, starting with the youth golf program. 

Finding success on the links may be difficult as the Shires have a challenging schedule this fall, facing predominantly larger Class A and B schools — playing teams like Hampden Academy, Brewer, Mount Desert Island, Bangor, Presque Isle and Caribou.

None of the squads Houlton may face in the regional Class C competition are on the Shires schedule this fall.

HOULTON, Maine — September 8, 2022 — Teeing off on the first hole of Houlton Community Golf Course in Shire Patrick Marino during a Thursday afternoon match against Presque Isle and Brewer. (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

HOULTON, Maine — September 8, 2022 — Sending a putt to the hole is Houlton golfer Madalyn Quirk during a Thursday afternoon golf match against at the Houlton Community Golf Course. (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

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