2023 Upper Valley high school fall sports guide: golf

Stevens' Elli Girard watches her ball while teeing off from the first hole during a match at Eastman Golf Links in Grantham, N.H. on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. Stevens competed with Lebanon, Coe-Brown and Souhegan. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Stevens' Elli Girard watches her ball while teeing off from the first hole during a match at Eastman Golf Links in Grantham, N.H. on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. Stevens competed with Lebanon, Coe-Brown and Souhegan. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. VALLEY NEWS FILE — Jennifer Hauck

Published: 09-11-2023 12:46 PM

HANOVER

Coach: Joshua Flanders (1)

Last year: seventh out of eight teams at state tournament

League: NHIAA Division I.

Home course: Montcalm Golf Club.

Returners: Seniors — Adam Goodney, Andrew Cahoon, Trevor Lichtenstein, Jake Toulmin; Sophomores — Joseph DeSimone, Andrew Cramer.

Newcomers: Senior — Nick Reiss. Juniors — Gus Thompson, Beckett Sobel; Freshmen — Ben Ames, JJ Bornstein, Jamie Coughlin, William DeSimone, Julian Hart.

Outlook: Co-captains Goodney and Cahoon bring experience and each has the ability to shoot par on a given day. The Bears boast a deep team with a good group of newcomers.

“We’re excited and optimistic about the talent on our team,” Flanders said. “We’re deep with returning athletes and new faces who will contribute now and for years to come. Our focus has been on short game and risk and course management.”

HARTFORD

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Coach: Erin Stevens (2)

Last year: Won VPA Division II sectionals, runner up at state tournament.

League: Vermont Division II

Home courses: Quechee Club, Woodstock Country Club and Larkin Country Club.

Returners: Seniors — Jaden Poirier, Zach Johnson, Sean Dunton; Junior — Matthew Tsouknakis; Sophomore — Thomas Thorburn.

Newcomers: Senior — Christian Hathorn; Junior — Rowan Irvine.

Outlook: Because flood damage at The Quechee Club, the Hurricanes are bouncing between three host venues for their play. The Canes have 19 players in the program. Hathorn is back after playing another sport in 2022, and the upperclassmen all have varsity experience.

“We want to focus on playing smart golf and managing the course, especially in pressure moments,” Stevens said. “I’m looking forward to seeing this group of kids continue to push each other and have fun on the course every day.”

LEBANON

Coach: Steve Roberts (1)

Last year: Third at NHIAA D-III state championship.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Home course: Eastman Golf Links.

Returner: Junior — Ben Britton.

Newcomers: Juniors — Brett Thorpe, Nick Petrucci, Kyle Hines, Nate Dube, Declan Brandis; Sophomores — Lodi Scholtz, Ben Benes; Freshmen: Braedon Rogers, Graham Achmoody, Andrew Berndsen, Nate Crane, Logan Massey, John Polk, Marek Rogers, Russell Bennett, Nate Thorpe.

Outlook: The Raiders have only one player back from last year’s team along with a new head coach in Steve Roberts. The goal will be to build experience for the coming years and to qualify for the state championship tournament.

RIVENDELL

Coach: Travis Ovitt (1)

League: Vermont Division III.

Home course: Lake Morey Country Club.

Returners: Seniors — Luke Avery, Parker Piper, Henry Sullivan, Finn O’Donnell, Liam Welch; Junior — Braydon Larson.

Outlook: Parker Henry is coming off a top-10 finish as an individual in the state tournament last season and will partner with Henry Sullivan in leading this year’s team. The Raptors are low in numbers this season under first-year coach Ovitt, an assistant professional at Lake Morey, with no first-year varsity members.

STEVENS

Coach: Ryan Seaver (8)

Last year: 8-19, did not qualify for postseason.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Home course: Claremont Country Club.

Returners: Senior — Lydia Redman; Juniors — Justin Demars, Josh Petrin, Ian Gersberg, Aubree Herzog; Sophomores — Elli Girard, Oliver Beeman.

Newcomers: Freshman — Owen Wilkinson.

Outlook: The Cardinals look to take a big step forward. Wilkinson and Herzog have played numerous tournaments this summer, helping to sharpen their games for this fall. “We’re looking to get back into the playoffs,” Seaver said. “Our goal is to bring our short game, honed at Claremont, to the longer courses we play in the division. Our success will depend on how well our game travels.”

THETFORD

Coach: Barrett Williams (1)

League: Vermont Division III.

Home course: Lake Morey Country Club.

Returners: Junior — Liam Farroit; Sophomore — Carter Williams.

Newcomers: Sophomore — Liam Brooks; Freshman — Ollie Sarazin.

Outlook: “We have a young team that is still learning the game of golf,” Williams said. “We’ll spend most of our time practicing the basic fundamentals, which will help the kids keep the ball in play.”

WHITE RIVER VALLEY

Coach: Sam Griffin (2)

League: Vermont Division III.

Home course: Montague Golf Club.

Returners: Juniors — Zander Clark, Wyatt Cadwell; Sophomores — Aubrey Mackenzie, Finnley Roussel.

Newcomers: Juniors — Dylan Hatch, Braden White; Sophomores — Ava Patch, Vanessa Crawford, Imari Taylor, Andrew Vanesse, Andrew Champagne; Freshman — Colin Lewis.

Outlook: This is the program’s second season and it sent two individuslas to last year’s sectional postseason. Griffin hopes to have four players available for both boys and girls matches by the time the season is in full swing. “Ultimately, we’re about building a golf program with a solid foundation and fostering improvement and appreciation of the game,” Griffin said.

WINDSOR

Coach: Pat Allen (10)

League: Vermont Division II.

Home course: John P. Larkin Country Club.

Returners: Senior — Lee Bevis; Junior — Helen Ennis; Sophomores — Oden Cramer, Eban Margolis; Freshman — Ben Miller.

Newcomers: Senior — Ernie Hodgdon.

Outlook: Captain Lee Bevis is looking to build on a strong season a year ago, when he competed in the sectional playoffs. “We’ll continue to improve the basics and work really hard around the greens during practices,” Allen said.

WOODSTOCK

Coach: Matt Closter (2)

Last year: Boys team was fifth at Vermont Division II state tournament.

League: Vermont Division II.

Home course: Woodstock Country Club.

Returners: Seniors — Owen Kross, Tori McNamara; Juniors — Beck Welch, Andrew Steele.

Newcomers: Sophomores — Sam Bowdoin, Maxwell Carey, Ian Coates, Kyler Eaton; Freshman — Timothy Moore.

Outlook: The Wasps were hit hard by graduation. Closter is the director of golf at Woodstock Country Club. “There’s great potential among the newcomers to the team,” he said.

— Bill Wilkinson