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By Adam Mooney, Special Correspondent

The loss of eleven
senior players may seem threatening, as there were only twelve players to begin
with, but the Holliston High School varsity golf team seems confident that they
have the potential to live up to those who preceeded them.

The HHS golf team has
won three of the last four tri-valley league titles. Last season, they came in
third place.

Golf coach Chris Murphy
explained that some of the strongest players on the varsity team were “Jason
Lussier, Connor Dupont, Andrew Stringer, Ethan Huntley, Tony Scouras, [and] Pat
Castellanos.” Because all of these players have now graduated, they will not be
returning next season.

“The last three years,
I’ve lost 8, 9, and 11 seniors. We’ve won three of the last four tri-valley
league titles, so there’s an expectation of being competitive,” Mr. Murphy
admits.

“Obviously, the TVL will
always be the goal, but if we can’t achieve that, all I’m looking for in the
team is improvement,” says one of the tri-captains Andrew DesRochers. “I want
each one of our guys to be able to look at themselves at the end of the season
and be able to say that they are better than they were last season.”

DesRochers started
playing golf three years ago and has “Been playing as much as I can ever
since.” He was chosen as a tri-captain, alongside Jack Conroy and Jesse
Marcoaldi.

“What I really enjoy
about golf is that it’s completely different from every other
sport,” DesRochers said. “It’s relaxing, yet stressful at the same time.
You have to be able to adapt to completely different situations and conditions.
And that’s what I love, that the game will continue to challenge you no matter
how good you get.”

“As a captain for this
season, I really hope to push the entire team in the right direction,” he
explained, “whether that be through captain’s practices during the summer or
personally taking the time to help them out. I really feel that each of us can
absolutely improve on our games, including myself.”

“As a team, I think we
really want to maintain the high level of golf that Holliston has become known
for,” explained sophomore player Cody Pennypacker. “It won’t be easy because of
the [eleven] seniors being gone, but we have a solid group of guys ready to
take their place.”

Pennypacker started
playing golf a little before the age of three, and has been playing in
tournaments since the age of five, he said.

“Cody will take one of
the top spots on the team this year. Even as a sophomore,” DesRochers
explained, “he will have had a great amount of varsity experience and
competitive tournament experience.”

“He is more of a veteran
than you would think,” Mr. Murphy says.

Pennypacker was not only
the only underclassman on the varsity team last season, but he was the only
freshman player on a team of 11 other seniors.

“At times, it was a bit
awkward, but I got along pretty well with the seniors,” Pennypacker said.
“They all talked to me like I belonged there.”

To overcome the loss of
his senior players, Mr. Murphy explains that it will take “Lots and lots of
hard work, relying on the experience of Cody to help mentor the new guys and
letting them know that they have to create their own identity as a team.”

“What I’m really hoping
to really push for this season is some real depth in the team,” DesRochers
explained. “Last season, I saw that our freshmen had a lot of potential. This
season, I have a lot of faith that we can get them up to the level where they
can start constantly winning matches. We have a huge amount of potential on this
team and I’m really hoping that as a captain, I can help them shoot some low
scores.”

Pennypacker said “Next
season, I really hope to improve upon my consistency. The biggest thing to a
team is knowing how a player will perform day in and day out, and be able to
depend on them for a certain score.”

The golf team does not
have as large of a roster as the other varsity sports, but Mr. Murphy
understands this. He explained that it actually motivates the team.

DesRochers, however,
said that “It’s unfortunate that people don’t see golf for as big of a sport as
it is. The varsity team has clinched the TVL for the past couple of years and
it’s gone with little recognition.”

“Honestly, I think that
we do get enough attention,” Pennypacker said. “Golf in America used to be
a sport that people thought was for a bunch of nonathletic people, people who
were only good at golf. Players like Tiger Woods [and] Dustin Johnson have
shown people that golfers are athletes. This has given our team a lot of
respect.”

Pennypacker revealed
that he sees Kyle Sanford as a strong player on the team. “I know that he’s a
really solid player.”

“Some of our younger
players could definitely make a big difference this season,” DesRochers
said. “I can see players like Kyle Montgomery and Pete Croke starting to win
some matches. They have nice swings and also have a real passion for the game.
If they get out there and really practice, they will absolutely see some big
improvements.”

Although almost the
entire varsity team will consist of different players, the HHS golf team has
the potential to succeed this season. Mr. Murphy believes that “This is the
beginning of the new era in Holliston golf.”

 

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