Freeport High senior Eli Spaulding won his third straight Class B title this fall. His 2-under 70 at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro was the lowest score of the champions from the state’s three classes. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Jason Ouellette spent four seasons as Eli Spaulding’s golf coach at Freeport High School.

For the last one, he doubled as his fan.

“In practice … he would come in and say ‘I shot 29 today,'” Ouellette said of the nine-hole score. “We got spoiled seeing it. But this year, I really stepped back and wanted to appreciate the game he has.”

Spaulding turned in a final season worth watching, capping a dazzling high school career that ranks him among the best players Maine has produced. The senior won his third straight Class B title in October, shooting 2-under 70 at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro. His score was the lowest of the champions from the state’s three classes.

Spaulding became the first to win three straight Class B boys’ titles since MCI’s Sam Marzenell from 1996-98. The state titles only told part of the story; Spaulding finished his career never losing a head-to-head match.

Spaulding, who will play next year for Loyola University of Maryland, is our choice as the 2023 Varsity Maine Boys’ Golfer of the Year. Going into the season, finishing a dominant career in style was a point of emphasis for him.


“This year was definitely different,” said Spaulding, who also tied for second in the New England high school championship after winning it last year. “For me, it was putting pressure on myself and telling myself ‘I’ve got one last ride. Let’s really get this thing done.’ I know how rare it is to win three in a row. It’s just something that doesn’t happen very often.”

Spaulding said he’s got his results dating back to his sophomore year logged in a spreadsheet. He feels gratified to see how his game has developed.

“One of the biggest things you look at, especially in golf, is having a constant positive trend, constant improvement,” he said. “I put in so much work, and to see it pay off and be able to (know) I’m in the history books. … To see how the work’s paid off and what it’s done, it just feels so good.”

Ouellette has seen that progression first hand. Low scores are nothing new for Spaulding, but the Freeport coach said he’s seen his standout’s game become strong in all phases.

“He mashes the ball,” Ouellette said. “When it comes off his club, it catches your attention. It just sounds different. … But his control of the ball around the greens is definitely elite now, too. When he misses a green, I’m not thinking ‘Ugh, here comes bogey.’ He’s going to get up and down.”

Ouellette said Spaulding’s true strength, however, isn’t how he hits the ball.


“I think what makes him so good is the mental aspect he has,” Ouellette said. “He just is so mentally prepared. Every shot that he hits, he commits to it 100 percent.”

Spaulding was driven to add that third title to his collection, but he had another motivation this fall. Freeport emerged as a Class B championship contender for the first time since winning it all in 2020, Spaulding’s freshman year, and the star senior made sure to help his fellow Falcons along.

“There were days when he had kids in the bunker and was working with them like a coach, helping them get out,” said Ouellette, whose team finished second in Class B to Presque Isle. “He really wanted this team to be successful this season, and he gave everything he could to make that happen.”

After seeing the value of strong upperclassmen leadership three years prior, Spaulding was happy to have his turn.

“This year, we had a chance to win and I knew we had a chance to win,” he said. “Being a team leader, whether it was helping people with their swings or this or that, it helped me with my motivation, too. I wasn’t doing this just for me, I was doing it for the whole team.”

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