By BRIAN JENNINGS
Southington coach Jim DiNello said that his boys golf team displayed a growth spurt between last week’s competitions. Southington split the week, but DiNello said his athletes fixed a lot of their struggles during the three days of practice between events.
“I was looking for the guys to dig a little deeper,” said DiNello. “I want them to understand that while 156 is good, we have to continue to get after things that are holding us back individually, so that we could be better as a team.”
The Knights have shot 156 in both home matches, but as they reach the midpoint of the season, DiNello said that this team is capable of shooting much lower. With six straight home matches, they’ll get their chance.
Despite two scores in the 30s, the Knights began the week on Tuesday, May 1 with their third loss of the season, 143-156, against Simsbury.
The division leading Trojans posted their lowest score of the season (143) with two players coming in at 1-over-par (35) and all five scores in the 30s.
Cam Zegzdryn led the Knights with a 36. Max Chubet (38), Shawn McKnerney (41), Cory Hemsen (41), and Austin Carta (43) contributed as well. Anytime a team shoots a 143, DiNello said that you have to tip your hat, but it showed the Knights—with three sophomores in their lineup—what they need to do to win in the CCC West Division.
“It should bring out the best in us, but we really need to control the golf ball better,” said DiNello. “We tried to make miraculous shots and left holes with doubles instead of taking our medicine and leaving with bogies. We’re young…we’ll get there.”
Three days later, and it was three scores in the 30s that helped the Knights rebound with a 152-157 victory over divisional Conard at Rockledge in West Hartford. The Knights recorded a 158 in a tie with divisional Hall in their first go-around at Rockledge back in April.
McKnerney tied Conard’s Luke Carroll as the co-medalists of match with 36s. Carta (37), CJ McManus (39), and Chubet (40) contributed as well.
DiNello said that McKnerney came back with a vengeance.
“We worked on some alignment issues with him and spent a long time on the putting green yesterday,” said DiNello. “It seems like it paid off today.”
DiNello said that McManus really stepped up with a 39 from the five spot.
“We gave CJ a break from the rotation the other day to just get some work in and build some confidence, and it paid off for him today,” said DiNello.
DiNello said that their 152 was a great score on the road and in a good win against a really good team.
“I’m really proud of them,” said DiNello. “They deserve a lot of credit.”
The Knights will start their six-match home stint this week with contests against divisional opponents Conard, Avon, and Hall. Southington is 3-3-1 overall and 2-3-1 in the CCC West Division.
To comment on this story or to contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.