SOUTHWICK – Merriam-Webster defines “perfect” as “being entirely without fault or defect.”
For 20 matches this season, the Southwick-Tolland Regional High School golf team embodied that definition to a tee, literally.
On Wednesday, the Southwick Rams wrapped up an undefeated regular season with yet another fantastic outing – one of many this year – by defeating the Palmer Panthers 18.5-5.5 at Edgewood Country Club.
“It really hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Southwick coach Al Selden, whose team finishes the regular season 20-0, “but I’m proud of the kids. They had a great year.”
There has been greatness up and down the entire lineup, and Southwick showed it again against Palmer.
No. 1 golfer James Longhi paved the way with a 37. The fifth and sixth golfers, Chris Baker and Nick Kavrakis, proved invaluable again, with each Rams’ golfer shooting a 39.
“I have to hand it these kids for grinding it out,” coach Selden said. “All six had a hand in this.”
Selden said he was confident his golfers would respond to the challenges that arose throughout the season, but never thought things would turn out this good (especially considering Southwick golf moved into a tougher league, the Suburban East, competing against the likes of 17-2 South Hadley).
“This went far beyond my expectations,” Selden said. “I thought 16-4 would be a great season, but we got by South Hadley early. They were our main competition. Pope Francis is always a good match, but we pulled out a close one on their home course.”
After Southwick edged Amherst and East Longmeadow late in the season, it was apparent the Rams were on a mission.
“I knew we were going to be pretty good from the start of the season,” Longhi said, ”but to do it against D1 teams blew me way. Everyone rose to the occasion.”
The list of accolades for Southwick this season is quite impressive – a league title … Selden’s 100th career victory … and an unbeaten regular season. Only one thing could top it all off.
“Western Mass.,” Selden said. “That was our main goal this year – to get back and try to win it.”
The Western Massachusetts Division 2 championship will be held Tuesday at Cranwell Resort’s Golf Course. There will be a shotgun start at 10 a.m.
Gators shut out
Sabis 3, Gateway 0
Three different players scored to lead Sabis. Gateway goalie John Foley finished with eight saves.
BOYS’ CROSS COUNTRY NOTES: A perfect fall day set up what was a decent day for the boy Bombers team Tuesday. With the upcoming Twilight Meet in Barnstable this Saturday the top eight of the boys team sat out and performed a workout before. It was the JV squad that stepped up on the day. The guys fell handedly to Chicopee Comp 15-50 but was able to edge out Agawam’s varsity squad 28-29.
The top finisher was filling some familiar varsity shoes he used to wear last year, Cris Daley, before a very unfortunate leg break in the off season. He finished in a 19:23 nearly a two minute season’s best. Right behind him was sophomore Raphael Morganelli in 19:44, a 30 second personal best. Third was senior Garrett Collis in 20:15, a five second personal best. Fourth and fifth was sophomore Aidan Boyle and freshman Aidan Welch, finishing in 20:34 and 20:35 respectively. Also both 20 second personal bests for the underclassmen.
“Overall, the JV squad really stepped up and showed great depth to come out and beat a true varsity,” Brendan Kane. “It’s not easy to win against a team that had two guys in before your first but they really come through on the day and as a coach I couldn’t be more proud.”