TEWKSBURY – After winning consecutive Merrimack Valley Conference Division 2 championships the past two seasons, the Tewksbury High Golf team got off to a bit of a tough start this season, dropping their first three matches last week, before bouncing back with two consecutive wins to close out the week with a 2-3 record.
The season got off to a rough start last Wednesday in a home tri-match at Trull Brook Golf Course against MVC rivals Billerica and Andover. The Redmen dropped both matches, losing North Andover by a score of 249-264 while they fell to Billerica by a score of 261-264.
Senior co-captain Anthony Pecci led the way for the Redmen with a low score of 42, followed closely by juniors Andrew DellaPiana with a 43 and Connor Cremin with a 44. Senior co-captain Sam White chipped in with a 45, as did fellow senior Joe Pazyra and junior Brady Lane.
It was not good enough to pick up the win, but for Redmen coach Jim Sullivan and his players, it was nice just to be on the course again.
“It was a good first day out playing matches brought out some sense of normalcy for everyone, but with the new format, it was different, but a good different,” Sullivan said. “It was great to see the kids out there playing, forgetting about what was going on around them for nine holes and playing against players that have grown up playing against.
“Two of the biggest performances on the were from the newcomers to the varsity team, DellaPiana and Cremin who had the second and third highest scores for us on the day in just their first varsity matches.”
The Redmen were back in action the next day with a tri-match at Atkinson Country Club against Andover and Central Catholic, dropping a 242-263 decision to Andover before bouncing back with a 263-279 win over Central Catholic.
Pecci once again led the way for the Redmen with a 41, while fellow senior John Beatrice carded the same score. Junior Jason Cooke and senior Joe Pazyra each shot a 44, while White chipped in with a 45 and DellaPiana had a 48.
“Once again Pecci, along with longtime partner, and fellow senior, John Beatrice both had our low scores on the day,” Sullivan said. “Jason Cooke had a good day in his first ever varsity golf match.”
The Redmen wrapped up their week with a dual match win over Dracut on Tuesday afternoon on the road at Hickory Hill Golf Course, beating the Middies by a score of 254-290.
The Redmen had their best day of the season, with several low scores, including Beatrice shooting a 39 and Pecci shooting a 40, while Pazyra fired a 44 and White had a 45. DellaPiana had easily his best day of the season, shooting a 40, while junior John Ragucci closed out the Redmen scoring with a 46.
“This beat our season opening score at home by ten shots, and their strong performance at a very challenging Atkinson Country Club on the road by nine shots,” Sullivan said. “It was a really good day for our players today as several of them went out and played extremely well.”
While Sullivan would have liked to see his team pick up a couple more wins during the week, he also realized how lucky his team was to have the opportunity to play at all, unlike several other MVC sports which have been temporarily shut down.
“It's been tough with how everything's been going here the past week for all of the other sports, and this group of players, particularly our seniors, recognize how very lucky they are to be able to be out there and playing,” Sullivan said. “We all feel for those other sports that are currently on hold, and we're out here trying to represent TMHS in the best manner possible!
“It was fantastic today being on the road and seeing friendly faces in Principal Bernard and Athletic Director Mr. Drouin driving around the course watching our players play through the first five holes or so. We all appreciated that and want to thank them for their continued support of us and our program.”