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With snow coating the area golf courses throughout March and into early April, early-season matches have been postponed, but Newtown High School’s girls’ and boys’ golf teams are again looking forward to successful campaigns on the greens and fairways once things finally get going.
The girls’ team, which had won the South-West Conference championship in each of the prior two season, was dethroned by Joel Barlow of Redding last spring, settling for a runner-up finish. The goal again this year is to get back to the top.
“We are trying to recapture the SWC championship and make states again,” Coach Jeremy O’Connell said.
The Nighthawks return most of their starting lineup, led by captain and standout Sarah Houle, who was the top golfer in both the SWC and state championship last year.
Houle is joined by returnees Kira Kelly, Camryn Findley, Liz Weisgerber, and Sydney Marino at the top of the lineup.
Barlow, Brookfield, and Masuk of Monroe figure to be the toughest of the conference foes this year.
The first match has been pushed until the middle of the month and the Nighthawks are scheduled to get started on Tuesday, April 17, with a visit to Notre Dame-Fairfield at Fairchild Wheeler Golf Course, beginning at 3 pm. Newtown’s first home match isn’t until the calendar turns to Tuesday, May 1; Barlow visits Rock Ridge Country Club, also at 3 pm.
Boys Seek Title
Coming off a campaign in which it finished fourth during the regular season and fourth in the SWC tournament, posting a record of 10-5 overall, the boys’ squad has high hopes for a solid postseason performance to cap a strong season.
“Our goal is to compete for an SWC championship. We need consistent play from our upperclassmen and improvement throughout the season,” Coach Bobby Pattison said.
Two graduates leave shoes to fill but there are plenty of experienced returnees, led by senior captains Ryan Patrick and Ryan Kost.
Junior David Brestovansky is another key returner who has been varsity since a freshman.
Masuk, Immaculate of Danbury, Joel Barlow, and Pomperaug are always competing at the top of the league, Pattison notes. “Masuk and Immaculate have most of their golfers returning from last year,” he adds.
The Hawks will strive to not beat themselves to be in contention.
“Consistency will be an important part of our success this year. We need to play smart golf and limit our mistakes as a team to compete with the top teams in the league,” Pattison said. “I am excited for the season to get underway and for better weather. The kids are excited, too. I told my seniors I want them to compete, have fun, and surprise the league. They will lead the way this year.”
The season-opener, against visiting Masuk, was postponed earlier this week. NHS was slated to visit Immaculate of Danbury on Wednesday but rain postponed that match. The Hawks are scheduled to entertain Bethel, at Rock Ridge, on Monday, April 9; tee off is at 3 pm.