Thursday, April 17, 2014
Chris Billings, Cheverus, junior: Billings shot a 74 in the state team championship to help the Stags to a third-place finish in Class A. He's a steady player who figures to have another solid season for the Stags.
FIVE TEAMS TO WATCH
1. Camden Hills: The Windjammers have five strong players, led by Daulton Wickenden and Drew Long, who swap off playing No. 1. Wickenden, a junior, was an all-state golfer as a freshman. Julian Starbird and Drew Hilt were in the top five for the team at the state championships, where Camden Hills placed fourth in Class B.
2. Falmouth: The Yachstmen return five out of their top six players from a team that placed fourth in last year’s Class A team championship. Senior Joe Lesniak shot a 75 in the team championship. Other players in the top five from last season are Brad Gilbert and Matt Hutcheon. Coach Spike Herrick calls this the deepest team he has coached.
3. Greely: The Rangers graduated three of their top five players from a team that finished second by five shots in Class A. Returning to give Greely a chance of contending again are Tom Buchholz and Bailey Train. Aiden Roberts, Tate Porter and Sam Burgoyne round out the top five, and freshman Erin Holmes is an up-and-coming player.
4. Scarborough: The Red Storm often fly under the radar, but they have a lot of good players. Matt McAlary and Matt Hartl are back from a team that finished eighth in the state last year. Sophomore Drew Kane has improved from last season.
5. Thornton: The Golden Trojans are determined to return to the state tournament after missing out last season. The team is led by Brett Braasch, one of the top players in the SMAA. Sophomore Greg Kalagias is a strong complement to Braasch. The team has a mix of seniors and sophomores who should keep the Trojans in contention.
— Tom Chard, Staff Writer
Brett Braasch, Thornton Academy, senior: A strong player, Braasch played well in this summer's Maine Junior Championship to earn a spot on the Maine team for the New England championships. He had a 39.0 stroke average last season.
Tom Buchholz, Greely, senior: Buchholz is one of two players from last season's top five who sparked the Rangers to a runner-up finish at the Class A state team championship. He shot a 74 in an SMAA preseason tournament at Val Halla.
Jackson Cogger, York, senior: Cogger has been very consistent in early matches, shooting a 37 for nine holes in a recent match with Cape Elizabeth.
Drew Kane, Scarborough, sophomore: Kane has make great strides as a player and is really into the game. He consistently shot in the high 70s and low 80s this summer.
Joe Lesniak, Falmouth, senior: The Yachtsmen's No. 1 player, he shot a 75 in the Class A state team championship last season. He finished third in the Maine Junior Championship and played in the New England championships.
Drew Long, Camden Hills, junior: Long led the Windjammers at last year's Class B state tournament with a 73. He brings competitiveness and confidence to his game and is an outstanding putter.
Zack Luce, Portland, senior: A two-time SMAA all-star, Luce had a 38.1 stroke average and was 9-1 in matches last fall. He's a four-year varsity player who has steadily improved.
Reese McFarlane, Cape Elizabeth, junior: McFarlane, the Maine Sunday Telegram Player of the Year last fall, won the Class B individual title with a 74 and shot a 69 in the team championships. He had the lowest stroke average in the Western Maine Conference.
Daulton Wickenden, Camden Hills, junior: Wickenden shot 76 in the Class B state team championship. He was named to the Maine Sunday Telegram all-state team as a freshman.
- Tom Chard, Staff Writer