TEWKSBURY — With a number of postponed matches early in the season, the Tewksbury High Golf team's schedule is picking up in the second half of the season. Unfortunately for the Redmen, things did not go as planned, as they struggled to winless week with losses to Lowell, North Andover and Chelmsford, putting the team’s overall record to 3-6.
"We're not making excuses, that's not what we do around here," Tewksbury coach Jim Sullivan said. "And as I tell the kids all the time, as Bill Parcells said oh so long ago during the rebuild of the Patriots, ‘You are what your record says you are’, and right now we're 3-6 with seven matches remaining in the regular season."
On Tuesday, the Redmen traveled over to Mount Pleasant Golf course to take on defending MVC I co-champions, Lowell High School, and suffered an 18-2 loss,
In a match that went in reverse order with the sevens and eights going out first, Tewksbury senior Campbell Pierce would win his match 2-Up and bring in the only points for the Redmen on the day as Lowell would win the group 3-2. Unfortunately for the Redmen, the red Raiders would go on to win the next three groups 5-0 finishing the match up at 18-2 in their favor.
After another postponement due to rain on Wednesday, the Redmen were back in action on Thursday when they hosted North Andover Knights in an MVC crossover match, which the Knights would ultimately win, but in a very tight fashion by a score of 12-8.
Junior co-captain Anthony Pecci picked up the only point for the Redmen in group one, flatting his match, but the Redmen trailed 4-1 early one.
As a result of a modified shotgun start, group was finishing up on the eighth green just after group four and the news was much better in that group with Pierce and fellow senior Max Cummings putting the Redmen on the board in a big way with a 5-0 group score.
Pierce, playing in his customary seven spot, would win his match 3&2, while Cummings, in his usual eight spot, took home a 4&3 victory and the pair combined for a 2&1 four ball win getting the Redmen on the lead 6-4 through two groups.
"These two have really settled in and have played very well together all season long and have done a fantastic job for us. Campbell is a real competitor, he's a determined kid who has had a lot of success on the hockey rink and that's carrying over on the golf course this season after getting his feet under him early in the season," Sullivan said. "I can't say enough about Max who is our team's point leader and has played well all season long, right from the first day of tryouts.
“Max worked tirelessly over the summer hitting balls, playing and improving on his game and it has shown and paid off for him and us in a big way."
North Andover would take group three by a score of 3-2 to close within 8-7, with junior Sam White taking his match by a score of 1-up by shooting par on his last hole to break a tie with his opponent who bogeyed the hole.
Senior Jake Nordstrom, paying along with White as has been the case most of the season this year, came up just short in his quest for victory falling just one stroke short despite fighting back from an early deficit.
"Jake's really battled and fought, he's competed all season long. He goes out and never get too high or too low, and regardless of where his match stands, he competes and high body language is the same," Sullivan said. "Jake stays positive, he remains upbeat and that helps, that has allowed him to come from behind and get us some real hard fought points in matches that have really made a difference for us this year."
Unfortunately for the Redmen, Andover would close out the match by taking the next group 5-0 to secure a 12-8 road victory.
In the drama of the match, the second group would go in favor of the Knights 5-0 giving them a 12-8 road victory.
"We all had a much better feeling after this one was over," Sullivan said. "We talked about there being no points for moral victories. There's no record for moral victories, it doesn't work that way, but what it does do is make us better today than we were on Tuesday in Lowell and gives us a standard to be better than tomorrow when we get on the van and head over to Chelmsford."
Friday afternoon brought a nice afternoon over at Chelmsford Country Club for a MVC II matchup between Tewksbury and Chelmsford in a match that would go a ways in determining a leader in the division. Unfortunately for the Redmen, their woes continued as did their current streak as Chelmsford would end up winning the match 13-7 and would move into a tie with the Redmen at the top of the MVC II division.
The Redmen would go out and return all square with the Lions after the first group as Anthony Pecci would win his match with a very solid 3&2 victory while junior John Beatrice took a tough 2&1 loss. Together, the juniors combined for a flatted four ball match, wrapping up group one all even, 2.5-2.5.
Group two saw Chelmsford win by a score of 5-0 to seize control of the match with a 7.5-2.5 lead.
"It's really tough to overcome a 5-0 group, unless you have one to match it up, and unfortunately we didn't on this day," Sullivan said.
Group 3 was yet again another "rock fight" in golf terms as both matches went back and forth throughout the day. When the dust settled, the Lions would end up taking the group 3-2. Sam White came away with a solid 2&1 victory for the Redmen while he and Nordstom would end up being defeated in the four ball match 1-down on the final hole, giving the Lions the necessary points needed to win the match, as they led 10.5 to 4.5. The final group would finish the same way the match started with it being a split 2.5 to 2.5, leading to a Chelmsford victory by the score of 13-7.
In the final group, Max Cummings earned another victory 2-up while he teamed up with Campbell Pierce to flat the Four Ball match as Cummings made a birdie four on their final hole.
As a result of the victory for the Lions, it moves them ahead of the Redmen at the top of the MVC II as the Redmen has several division matches remaining.
“We're all a bit disappointed here. we felt like we left one over here today," Sullivan said. "No one really went out and played exceptionally well on either side which left the match wide open for anyone to win and Chelmsford did just that."
Sullivan is hoping that the loss to Chelmsford, whom the Redmen had defeated earlier in the season, will allow them to refocus on the rest of the season with some key matches still ahead.
"We need our compete level to increase across the lineup right now. Hopefully our guys will go out and put in some extra work individually this weekend and we'll come back strong next week with some big matches," Sullivan said. "I love this group of guys, I've told them that before and will continue to tell them that, we all just need to buckle up, get more focused and increase our level of play. They have it in them, it's up to me to be able to get the best form them and right now I haven't been able to do that, it falls on me and I'll work on it as well."
The Redmen were back in action with a pair of matches on Monday against Lawrence at home, and then a road match with Methuen on Tuesday, with results of those matches unavailable as of the Town Crier's press time.
They will hit the course again on Thursday at Billerica for a tri-meet against Billerica and Burlington.