BELLINGHAM – With another great regular season already in their back pocket, having gone 17-0, while also clinching their 17th consecutive CAC title, the Shawsheen Tech Golf team wrapped up their season this past week with a pair of post season tournaments
The Rams competed in the CAC Tournament last Friday at Crystal Lake Golf Club in Haverhill where they earned a second place finish, and followed that up at the Central Mass. Division 3 Sectional Tournament on Tuesday at New England Country Club in Bellingham where they earned a sixth place finish in the 14-team field.
While both were most certainly respectable finishes for the Rams, Shawsheen coach Tom Struthers sees even better days ahead for his team in these post season tournaments as his young squad, made up mostly freshman and sophomores, gains more experience.
In the Sectional Tournament on Tuesday, the Rams took to a very challenging course at New England Country Club, where they, like many teams struggled over the 18-hole course, totaling a 372 with their four top scores to earn their sixth place finish.
“New England Country Club is a place we had never seen before and certainly had never played before,” said Shawsheen coach Tom Struthers. “It was a little tough for us with a tough course, and one that we have never played one. Like one of the kids aid, it was probably the toughest course we have ever played.
“Add to that being just 15 or 16 years old playing that kind of course, and I thought we played pretty well. I wish we had played a little better, but I was not unhappy with our finish. We still have to learn how to compete a little better at these big 18-hole tournaments, but we have a lot to look forward to, and we will learn to play better at tournaments like this.
Freshman Tyler Tsoukalas led the way for the Rams with a score of 88, followed by sophomore captain Matt Tramonte of Tewksbury with an 89, sophomore Scott Schlehuber with a 96 and sophomore Colin Lawson with a 99.
While Struthers was not unhappy with the Rams performance at the sectional, he was not as pleased with their effort at the CAC Tournament, held on Greater Lawrence’s home course at Crystal Lake Golf Course. The Reggies took full advantage of being on their home course, easily outdistancing the field with a total score of 323, led by a remarkable 69 by Mike Wiley.
The Rams fell 13 strokes short of the Reggies with their total of 336, led by a 76 by Tsoukalas, followed by Tramonte with an 86, while sophomores Liam Milne and Brendan Lee each shot an 87.
“I was not as happy with that one,” Struthers said. “This was a course we had played on before and I felt like we definitely had the talent to win it. The question once again is if we can stay focused enough to play all 18 holes. Golf can be a tough game. You can have just a great day one day and then the very next time out, have just a really tough day. I know a few of our kids wish they had played a little better.”
One Ram who was certainly not disappointed with his performance was Tsoukalas, whose 76 culminated a tremendous second half of the season for the freshman star.
“He has been a steady player for us and he has just gotten better as the year has gone one,” Struthers said. “I don’t know how he does it. He is in ninth grade and he is 15 years old, but he goes out and plays like he has been playing his whole life. He is going to do some great things for us in the future.”
The fact of the matter is, the future looks very bright for this group of Rams, who completed their 17-0 season with six freshmen, four sophomores, and only one senior, Andrew Gattineri. While the post season didn’t quite end the way the Rams would have liked, the regular season most certainly did, as they continued their almost absurd streak of 17 straight league titles.
“That is probably the most important thing that we accomplished, keeping that streak going,” Struthers said. “You never know when that is going to end, because teams are getting a lot better, like Greater Lawrence, Essex and Minuteman. Winning the league is always great, especially with every other team setting their sights on us.”
Shawsheen wrapped up their undefeated regular season last Wednesday beating both Nashoba Tech and Greater Lawrence in a tri-match at the Chelmsford Country Club to bring their season record to 17-0.
Tramonte was the low medalist for the Rams, shooting a 38 to earn 27 points, while Brendan Lee earned 25 points, Tyler Tsoukalas and Mike Giordano had 24 each, while Colin Lawson and Liam Milne each had 20.
“Overall, we had a great season,” Struthers said. “This is a young team, and we were possibly looking at a rebuilding year, but instead we went 17-0. We have some great golfers, but more importantly, they are great kids. They are just going to continue getting better and we hope to continue our league title streak again next year.”