WILMINGTON — It was a tough decade for the Wilmington High Golf program, as the Wildcats faced an uphill battle competing in the very challenging Middlesex League.
Competing against the likes of Lexington, Winchester and other powerful schools from the Liberty Division, the Wildcats struggled during many seasons to consistently get in the win column.
Despite some fine individual performances throughout the decade, the Wildcats managed just a 32-101-2 record over the ten-year stretch, all under the direction of head coach Steve Lynch.
The Wildcats did fare somewhat better in their Middlesex League Freedom Division matches, qualifying for the Division 2 North Sectional Tournament four times during the decade, three times via the Sullivan Rule due to their play within their own division.
Wilmington’s best season of the decade was their first, as they posted a 7-7 record and qualified for the Division 2 North Tournament in 2010 due to finishing with a .500 record. The Wildcats followed that up with another tournament appearance the following year, going 5-6 overall, but posting a 4-1 record in the Freedom Division.
After a 3-8-1 record in 2012, the Wildcats struggled to a 4-10 record in 2013, but qualified for the sectional tournament with a 3-2 record in the Freedom Division. Wilmington hit a rough patch over the next three seasons, posting records of 2-12, 2-12 and 4-9-1 before bouncing back with a 5-7 overall record in 2017, finishing second in the Freedom Division to earn a spot in the sectionals.
The past two seasons have been especially rough for the Wildcats as they have struggled to back-to-back winless seasons, going 0-14 both years.
Dan Gracia — As a senior tri-captain in 2017, he helped lead the Wildcats to a second place finish in the Middlesex League Freedom Division and the state tournament berth that came with it. Gracia had some big moments throughout his three year career with the varsity squad, particularly during his senior season when among other highlights he shot an 80 at the Middlesex League Shootout at the challenging Bear Hill Country Club.
A star pitcher and basketball player for the Wildcats, he has gone on to continue his baseball career at Franklin Pierce where he was in the midst of a fine sophomore year when the season was canceled.
Jon Keough — In 2011, the Wildcats first season after switching from the Cape Ann League to what was then known as the Middlesex Small, Keough helped them make an immediate impact in their new league, leading them to a 4-1 league record and a tournament berth in his senior year and was selected as a league All-Star.
Keough was a four-year varsity player for the Wildcats and he capped off a great career with an 8-3-1 record that season as the team’s number one player, along with a close to even-par 36.6 stroke average. He continued his fine play in the post season, firing a 78 in the Division 2 North Sectionals to earn a 12th place overall finish.
Billy McEvoy — A three time Lowell Sun All-Star, McEvoy was named to the second team in his sophomore season and to the first team in his junior and senior seasons. He was also a three-time Middlesex League All-Star, and a three-time team MVP for the Wildcats.
In his junior season of 2016, McEvoy went 8-3 in Middlesex League matches, averaging a score of 37 over nine holes and also finished in the top ten at the Division 2 North Sectionals, shooting a 79, leaving him just four strokes out of the top spot. With that performance, he advanced to the Division 2 state tournament at Black Swam in Georgetown and finished in 20th place with an 88.
As a senior in 2017, he averaged a score of 38 for the season, as he led the Wildcats to a sectional tournament berth, where he once again shot a 79 to lead his team, but this time his outstanding score left him just two strokes short of once again qualifying for the state tournament
Ryan McEvoy — A tremendous leader for the Wildcats during his senior season of 2013, where as a co-captain he led the team to a state tournament berth. It was not only his leadership abilities that stood out however, as he was also outstanding on the course, averaging a score of 37 for the season and was the low scorer for the Wildcats at the sectional tournament, firing an 85 at Hillview Country Club.
McEvoy had also enjoyed a fine junior season for the Wildcats in 2012, highlighted by an eagle on the par 5 opening hole at Hillview, helping to lead the Wildcats to a key early season win over Watertown.
Dalton Rolli — A key player in two consecutive tournament berths for the Wildcats in 2010 and 2011. As a junior in, he was especially clutch down the stretch, helping to lead the Wildcats to three wins in their final four matches to secure a spot in the post season, including a big win over North Andover in the regular season finale, setting the stage for what would be a great senior season in 2011.
That season Rolli took his game to another level being selected as both a Cape Ann League All-Star as well as to the Lowell Sun second team. He went on to fire an 83 at the Division 2 North Sectional Tournament.
Andrew Spurr — Spurr was a two-time Cape Ann League All-Star for the Wildcats in 2009 and 2010, but 2010 is the only year that applies for purposes of All-Decade selection. But what a season it was for Spurr, who as a senior co-captain for the Wildcats not only received league All-Star honors, but was also named to the Lowell Sun second team, leading the team to a 7-7 record and a post season berth.
Like Rolli, Spurr was huge down the stretch of the regular season, helping to lead the Wildcats to wins in three of their final four matches to secure a spot in the post season, leading the team in scoring in two of those matches.
• Jake Fulkerson
• Joey Marino
• Ben Maynard
• Chris Stokes
• Tyler Strem
• Glenn Sullivan