Townies win two of three to open 2017 golf season
East Providence edges Tiverton, bests Mt. Hope in most recent match
EAST PROVIDENCE — Two of the three teams competing in an Eastern Division golf match on an an overcast, chilly Monday afternoon, April 24, at Metacomet Country Club were making their initial appearance on the course in 2017, as visiting Tiverton and Mt. Hope teed it up for the first time against host East Providence.
The Townies defeated both the Tigers and Huskies with a four-player team total of 204, three strokes better than Tiverton, which earned a split. Mt. Hope suffered a pair of losses, the Huskies tallying 253.
Cam Maxwell and Isabelle Wetmore each shot 50 to share team low honors for E.P., which improved to 2-1 on the young season. Tiverton’s Greggory Raymond was the day’s medalist, carding an 8-over 44 for the Tigers on Metacomet’s par 36 front side. Alexis Annarummo shot a 46 to pace the Huskies.
The Townies, who opened up their season two weeks ago with a 177-208 loss to Middletown, return a number of players from the squad that went 4-9 a year ago in the Eastern Division ranks and fell just shy of earning one of three spots in the league playoffs.
The top teams, traditionally and currently Barrington and Portsmouth, earn berths directly into the state team tournament. Teams three through five in the regular season standings, this year expected to include Middletown and Bay View, hold a single-day playoff match to determine the division’s last entry into states.
“We’re a veteran team this year. We have nine coming back. We were 4-10 last year. I think we could be at least 6-8 this year,” said long-time Townies’ head coach Bill McEnery. “I think we’re fighting for the five, if not the four spot. Middletown is the No. 3 and I think Bay View, maybe, is the No. 4. So, I think we’re probably fighting for the five with Tiverton and Rogers.”
Junior Jake Pezza starts the season playing from the No. 1 spot in the E.P. lineup. Senior Cameron Maxwell maintains the two position followed by sophomore Isabelle Wetmore, a second-team female All-Stater a year ago, in the three spot with sophomore Tyler Azevedo in the four slot.
The rest of the E.P. roster includes senior Stefan Augustyn, freshman Seth Dimaria, sophomore Cameron Ellinwood, sophomore Constantino Capobianco, junior Colin Feeney senior Karissa Piros, freshman Emma Teller, junior Blake Trowbridge and sophomore Nelson Xavier-Rahed.
“We can make the playoffs. I really think we can. I’m optimistic. I really am,” McEnery added.
Tiverton went 5-9 last spring and made the Eastern playoffs after placing just ahead of E.P. in fifth in the league standings. Middletown defeated the Tigers and Bay View to claim the final state tourney bid from the division.
Tiverton begins 2017 with an upperclassmen led group of players in its top six rotation.
Greggory Raymond starts the season at the top the Tigers’ playing order from the No. 1 position. Michael Hrycin, a junior, mans the two position followed in the order in sports three through six by freshman Nathan Feld, junior Gregory Petrarca, sophomore Drew Germain and senior Kyle Pacheco.
The rest of the Tiverton roster includes junior Cole Simmons, sophomore Thomas Mello as well as freshmen Asha Taber and Samuel Costa. Adam Tracy is the Tigers’ head coach.
“I think we have a solid team this year, definitely very good with Mike Hrycin, Nate Feld and Greg Petrarca at the two, three and four positions. And we have Drew Germain and Kyle Pacheco at the five, six,” said Raymond, a senior. “I think we have a pretty solid team this year.”
The Tigers, like the Townies, are once again expected to be in the mix for one of the three playoff positions in the division behind league stalwarts Barrington and Portsmouth.
“We could probably compete with them on a given day if we played our best, played up to our potential. I think we definitely could,” Raymond said of vying with the aforementioned Eagles and Patriots. “But I see us more in the middle of the division, probably four or five, maybe three if we play well. And then we’ll fight our way up through from there.”
Mt. Hope preview
For Mt. Hope, now coached for the 11th season by Chris Munzert, 2017 is setting up as another rebuilding year after going winless last spring at 0-14. Though the Huskies’ playing roster is made up mostly of juniors and seniors, they lack the match experience and game knowledge, which has left them a bit shorthanded. Coach Munzert is only filling four of the six playing positions to start the year.
Senior Alexa Annarummo is Mt. Hope’s No. 1 player. She is headed to Siena College in Albany, N.Y. in the fall to continue her playing career. Jake Champlin, a junior, plays from the two position followed by freshman Jake Medieros at No. 3 and freshman Brian Dupris at No. 4. The roster also consists of another eight players, though the coach hasn’t yet deemed them ready to participate in a competitive match.
“We’re feeling our way through it, but we have a great group of kids,” said Munzert, assisted this spring by Michaela Frattarelli. “They’re trying, but we don’t have a whole lot of experience and this is a pretty unmerciful game when you’re just starting out.”
Though it’s unlikely the Huskies will be part of the race for a playoff berth this year, the coach is optimistic about the near-term future of the program.
“We have three or four sophomores and the two freshmen who are very new to the game, but have shown up everyday. They’re very interested in the game and they’re trying. We’re probably not going to get too many wins this year, but in a couple of years, hopefully, another crop of kids will join this group and we’ll keep building,” said Munzert.
He continued, “The goal is to get six competent golfers at a match. To get to a point where we feel as though we can field a full group of six kids who are capable. Because it’s not just hitting balls at the range. It’s what do you do when hit it in the water or out of bounds. So there’s a lot to learn before you can let it rip.”