By BRIAN JENNINGS
The boys in gray, blue, and white battled and stayed in contention on the links all the way to the 18th hole at the Division I Boys’ Golf State Championship on Monday, June 8 at Timberlin Golf Club in Berlin.
Southington (320) came into the clubhouse ranked eighth out of 20 schools, but they were still in contention as the final golfers approached the 18th green.
Top ranked Ridgefield (313) pushed past a Greenwich (315), Glastonbury (315), and Darien (315) to claim the title with their final putt. Staples (318), Newington (318), and Pomperaug (318) rounded out the top seven.
Jake D’Alessandro shot the low score for the Knights with 5-over 77 and tied for 17th overall out of 111 golfers. D’Alessandro finished with three birdies and nine pars to finish at 79 with a short game that pulled him through.
“I got up and down a lot of times where I got myself in trouble. My wedge-play really helped me make some birdies,” he said. “We wanted to win, of course, and I was just trying to shoot the best I could…I’m happy with my round. Overall, I think we had a pretty good season. We definitely wanted to win the state championship because that was our goal. It’s unfortunate that the team didn’t win, but it is what it is.”
Ryan Burrill had two birdies and 10 pars over 18 holes to finish in the top 30 with a 79. Drew Szandrocha scored nine pars and two birdies to finish tied for 40th overall (81). Harrison Garrett (83) capped the Blue Knight scoring with eight pars over 18 holes.
Julian Cardozo didn’t score for the Knights, but he finished with a trio of pars on the front nine (44) and three more on the back (43) to finish with an 87.
“I think the kids gave a great effort,” said Southington coach Jim DiNello. “To be in the final four two years in a row in Division I really says a lot. It says a lot about your program and the kids that are in the program. The bottom line is here we are today, standing at the 18th green, with a score that was capable of being shot by the last guy coming in. That means you’re right in the thick of it and I think that’s what you want. You want to get here and you want to be in the thick of it until the end. They were, and I’m really proud of them for that.”
Danbury’s Andrew Stock shot a 69 (-3) as the medalist of the tournament.
The state meet marks the end of Southington’s spring campaign.
The state meet came on the heels of the CCC tournament on Thursday, June 4 at Stanley Golf Course in New Britain.
Southington (318) finished in fifth place behind East Catholic (300), Newington (310), Wethersfield (314), and Glastonbury (315).
Szandrocha led the Knights with a 74, and finished second overall in the field. D’Alessandro shot an 80. Garrett (81) and Burrill (83) rounded out the Southington scoring.
Newington’s Jake Hedberg shot a 72 as the medalist of the tournament.
Six of the top 10 teams were from the CCC West (Southington, Newington, Simsbury, Conard, Hall, and Farmington).
The Knights claimed the final foursome for the state meet for the second year in a row.
To comment on this story or to contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.