By John Goralski
Eric Flood scooped his ball in a long arc to the 18th green and bounced it about a foot and a half away from the hole to enter the clubhouse with a birdie. Drew Szandrocha finished just one stroke behind him with a 76 over 18 soggy holes.
On Thursday, June 4, the Knights shook off the wet weather, attacked the slow greens, and beat all but one team at the CCC Championship at Stanley Golf Course in New Britain. Flood led the way for the Knights, and that was appropriate as the aptly-named senior navigated less-than-ideal conditions.
“I thought the kids handled it great,” said Blue Knight golf coach Jim DiNello. “They didn’t let the weather affect them mentally. It was one of those days where you just try to stay dry, keep your grips dry, and put a good swing on it.”
Glastonbury’s Nate Dong led all golfers, going 2-under with a 70, and two of his teammates tied for third place overall as the Tomahawks shrugged off the rain to score a 295. Southington (312) edged Newington (314) for second place with Flood and Szandrocha leading the way.
Flood was finished 10th to score an all-conference medal. Szandrocha finished just outside the top 10. Jake D’Alessandro (78) and Dave Valentukonis (83) finished in the top third of the rankings, and the Knights surpassed perennial powers like Farmington, Simsbury, and Berlin.
“There’s no room for error. It’s only four players, and they all count, so that makes it even more impressive,” said DiNello. “When you see those teams on the board, it was really stacked. For us to beat every single one of them but the winner says a lot about our kids. They love to compete, and I’m really proud of them. We played well enough to win, but Glastonbury had a phenomenal day.”
Now, the Knights will turn their attention to the state meet as the No. 2 ranked team in division one. Southington has earned its place in the top four, alongside Greenwich, Ridgefield, and Glastonbury.
“There are a lot if teams that can win it. It’s not just the ones in the top four. Greenwich, Glastonbury, and Ridgefield can all win, but so can we. It’s division one, so there are a boat load of teams that can have four guys come in really low,” said DiNello. “It’s one day, and you have to hit lower than everyone else.”
The Knights have already proven that they can do that.
Season finale win
Newington golfer Tim Wells went 1-under to lead all golfers at Indian Hills, but the Blue Knights matched them step for step. On Monday, June 2, the locals capped their regular season with a 157-157 tie against Newington in the season finale.
Drew Scandrocha led the Knights with a 37. Dave Valentukonis scored a 38, while Eric Flood and Jake D’Allessandro tied for the last score with 41s.
Southington finished the regular season with a 10-4-2 record (8-4-2 in the CCC West).
To comment on this story or to contact sports writer John Goralski, email him at jgoralski@ southingtonobserver.com.