Local golfers stole their share of headlines at the golf state matches last weekend at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro.

Last Friday, Yarmouth made history as a team, capturing the Class B state title for the first time, while a Freeport individual managed to star as well, as Eli Spaulding become the second straight Falcon to win the individual crown.

Saturday, Falmouth won the Class A championship in impressive fashion.


Yarmouth players and coach David Cousins show off the Class B championship trophy. Contributed

Yarmouth tied for second at the Class B state match in 2020 and was second in 2011 as well, but had never finished first. Until Friday, when the Clippers posted a team score of 322, 16 shots better than runner-up Leavitt (defending champion Freeport was sixth with a score of 364).

Yarmouth’s top individual was Andrew Cheever, whose 18-hole score of 77 tied him for second. Nate Hagedorn shot a 79 to tie for fourth. Quinn Federle finished with a round of 81 (tied for ninth) and Sebastian Martinez finished at 85 (tied for 11th). Stuart Baybutt (92) and David Swift (103) also took part, but only the top four scores are included for scoring purposes.

“We’re a solid team,” Cheever said. “We all work together well. We’re all best friends now. We play golf a lot together.”

“I know this state title means so much for the golfers as they are well aware that the success of golf at YHS has been limited,” said Yarmouth coach David Cousins. “This is just a fantastic group of young men and I could not be more proud of them. The way they stepped up and played with such poise and confidence in the two biggest golfing events, the qualifier and states, that they have competed in to date was just amazing.

“The most impressive aspect of the season was not just their improvement on the course, but rather their ability to grow as a team. That was really fun as a coach to watch develop. We had a few long road trips that really had an impact on their growth in developing that camaraderie that was so instrumental in winning a title. There was some healthy internal competition and fun matches that kept every player focused during practice, but the way they pulled for each other in matches really left you with such a good feeling of what it really is all about. A group of young men coming together for and striving for a common goal.

“This is a very young squad that showed maturity during every challenge. This group was comprised of three juniors and three sophomores. We had two sophomores who could go low and proved to be our number one and number two golfers throughout the year. Andrew took third with a 76 in the qualifier and a tie for second in the state championship in individual play which was huge for our team victories. Sebastian played in the number one slot all year during the regular season and was solid in the tournament. Nate came up big in the states with a 79 while carding a birdie, par, birdie, par, par finish. Quinn had a solid year and came on strong late with an 83 in the qualifier and an 81 in the states. Stuart and David not only kept pressure on the top golfers during practice but were instrumental in keeping this team loose and confident. They have to realize we could not have made this run without their contributions to the team. The future looks bright for this young team and we have some promising young JV golfers looking to get in the mix next year.”

Freeport’s Eli Spaulding celebrates after sinking a putt during the Class B golf state tournament. Spaulding won the individual championship. Joe Phelan / Kennebec Journal

While Freeport wasn’t able to repeat as team champion, Eli Spaulding followed in the footsteps of last year’s Class B individual champion Matt Kempf by posting a score of 68 – not only the best score in Class B, but in any class last weekend. Spaulding finished nine strokes ahead of the field.

“I wanted it to be under 70,” said Spaulding, who played for Maine in the New England junior championships this summer and won the state junior title this summer. “I knew the course was playing somewhat easy. The greens were rolling easy. The fairways were soft, so I was just like, ‘You’ve got to go out, play your game and be aggressive.’ There’s no laying back at this course. This is something I wanted to check off my list. I wanted to get that final win of the season and it feels really good to do so.”

“I am thrilled for Eli,” said Falcons coach Jason Ouellette. “I’m pretty sure he made it his goal to win this year right after he finished last year. Sometimes we get spoiled watching him in practice and in matches. He makes things look easy, but golf is such a challenging sport. He works very, very hard at his craft. He doesn’t play video games or watch TV shows and movies. He practices and practices and practices. He has a natural gift but he also is one of the hardest workers as well. I’ve seen video of him chipping in his yard in the snow. I’ve never seen someone work this hard at the game.”

Also scoring for Freeport were Finn Sharpe (82, tied for ninth), Teo Steverlynck-Horne (106, good for 52nd place) and Dylan Foerster (108, good for 54th place). Gabe Silva (113) and Terrance Snow (114) also took part.

Back on top

Falmouth shows off the Class A championship trophy. Joe Phelan / Kennebec Journal

Saturday, Falmouth captured its first crown in eight seasons, shooting a 315, 10 strokes better than runner-up Thornton Academy. The Navigators were led by Paul Dilworth, who shot a 77, which tied him for fourth. Also scoring were John Hwang and Josh Stowell (78, tied for sixth) and Mitchell Ham (82, tied for 12th). Boden Joyce (89) and Dominic Tracy (93) also took part.

“This has been the goal since day one,” said Tracy, a captain. “We were a bit worried about qualifying when we didn’t play at our best, so to bounce back from that and finish with a state title is pretty cool.”

“The boys played great,” said Falmouth coach A.J. Simokaitis. “I feel like it has been a long time coming, as we have been fairly close in the past couple of years and just haven’t been able to finish off strong. This whole season had a different feel to it. I had a great group of kids that came together and pushed each other to compete and progress as players. Depth played a huge role in our success this year. It seemed like no matter where I had a player in the lineup, they could go out and take care of business.

“During the qualifier we got off to a rough start, but were able to hang in there. Saturday we got off to a much better start, which certainly takes some of the load of the players. Jack Stowell was able to get things rolling, and although he hit a couple speed bumps along the way, was able to finish off in strong fashion and hold his round together. His 78, combined with John Hwang’s 78, set the foundation for the day. Paul Dilworth played tremendously. He got off to a hot start, being 2 under through his first two holes. He then had very good looks for birdie on his third and fourth holes of the day. This torrid start allowed him to cruise around the course fairly stress free. His finish is what I am most proud of. He had to finish on the hardest stretch of the golf course. He held it together and fired a 77 as the number five man, our lowest score for the team. Mitchell Hamm played great as well. He really hung in there, kept his head down and kept plugging away, even when things got tough. His 82 rounded out our scoring.

“All and all, I couldn’t be more proud of these boys and the rest of the team for a tremendous season.”

Greely didn’t qualify as a team, but Will Klein (79) came in 10th and Connor Albert tied for 12th, with a round of 82.

Greely’s Ruth Weeks lines up a shot on the first hole during the girls’ state meet Saturday. Weeks finished tied for third. Joe Phelan / Kennebec Journal

In the Class A girls’ competition, Greely’s Ruth Weeks shot a 96 and tied for third, Karinna Beacham (98) was sixth and Annie Flick (105) came in 10th.

In Class C, North Yarmouth Academy didn’t qualify as a team, but Maddy Prokopius was fifth in the girls’ competition with a round of 102, while Nick Pelletier (86) tied for 22nd and Topher Prokopius (89) tied for 27th on the boys’ side.

Press Herald staff writer Travis Lazarczyk and Times Record staff writer Eli Canfield contributed to this story.

ySports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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