Golf rebounds from first loss

Austin Carta putts during a recent match. Carta led the Knights during a win over Farmington at Hawks Landing. (Photo by John Goralski)

By KEVIN ROBERTS

STAFF WRITER

Southington boys golf fell for the first time this season with a 160-165 loss to NW Catholic on April 23 at Wampanoag Country Club in West Hartford. The Blue Knights responded in a big way two days later, defeating a good Farmington team 155-158 at Hawks Landing Country Club on April 25.

Southington’s record stands at 4-1. Despite the loss, Southington’s course differential score (17.44) has them seeded third in the CIAC division I rankings as of April 30.

The Knights began the week in wet weather on April 23 against the Lions. Jake Napoli shot a team-best 39, three-over-par, but he was the lone Southington player under 40 on the day. Max Chubet shot 41, Shawn McKnerney carded a 42 while Austin Carta and Colby Zegrzdyn each took a 43.

In contrast, NW Catholic had two players join Napoli with a co-medalist 39, Justin Mathew and Bob LaChance. Justin DeFina had a 40 while Steven Liu and Matthew Shea each took a 42.

The April 25 match against Farmington didn’t start out great with Chubet and Napoli each shooting a 41. John Guerrera and Jared Papa each came in with a 38. The tables turned when the group of Carta and McKnerney entered the Hawks Landing clubhouse. Carta shot a co-medalist round of two-over-par 37, same as Farmington’s Kevin Zip, but McKnerney scored a 38 to the 44 of Michael Gregory. Zegrzdyn came in with a score of 39 at No. 5 for the Knights, another great round.

“Tremendous play from Austin, Shawn and Colby,” coach Jim DiNello said. “Each person on our team needs to go out, accept the pressure and play as if their score must be really good. It takes a full team to win matches. During the preseason we talked about depth potentially being a strength. Today, that proved to be the case.”

Napoli moved up to the No. 2 spot after his 39 out of the No. 4 slot against NW Catholic. He and Chubet didn’t have their best days, but they got great help from their teammates Carta, McKnerney and Zegrzdyn.

“We are still a work in progress, but the measure of a truly competitive team is the amount of depth present in the lineup,” DiNello said. “Nice to see the members of the squad pick each other up and support their teammates. Something to build on for sure.”

Up next: Southington was scheduled to play at Simsbury on Tuesday. The Knights were home on Wednesday against Hall.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com

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