September 8, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL GOLF NOTEBOOK: Eagles happy to stay home

By Matt DiFilippo mdifilippo@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

The Erskine Academy golf team is pretty good -- especially on its home course of Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro.

In a recent win over Lawrence at Natanis, the Eagles had four players (Luke Atchison, Trevor Brown, Cameron Grass and Ashley Chubbuck) shoot between a 38 and a 43, while two others carded 45 and 48.

"Several of my players work at Natanis, and a couple others, it's about the only course they've ever played on," Erskine coach Mark Bailey said. "Our goal on the road is to break 180, whereas we shot 164 (against Lawrence)."

Fortunately for Erskine, teams like Cony and Winslow are on the schedule, and also have Natanis as their home course. Still, not every match will be there, so the Eagles will look for consistency on the road.

"We've got to learn to make better adjustments on the greens," Bailey said. "Each course is going to have its own standard."

Grass, a junior, shot a 42 against Lawrence, which speaks to how much he has improved. He's now at the point where Bailey thinks he has an outside shot at qualifying for states.

"Between last year and this year, he's added about 80 or 90 yards to his drive," Bailey said.

* * *

St. Dominic is considered either a top contender or the No. 1 favorite in the Mountain Valley Conference. Madison hung with the Saints on Thursday at Lakewood Golf Course in Madison, losing 5-2. The final team totals were 171 for St. Dom's and 186 for the Bulldogs.

"The matches were close," Madison coach Heath Cowan said. "I think we stack up pretty well with them. I think if we play them over at Natanis, it will be a pretty competitive match."

Juniors Ty Cowan, Tripp Libby and Jared Miller make up Madison's top three. Cowan is the No. 1, while Libby and K.P. Carpenter have shot career bests already this season, and Coach Cowan said Miller has the potential to shoot in the low 40s each time out.

"If we play real well, I think we might be able to get a couple guys in the 30s by the end of the year," Coach Cowan said. "I think at the end of the year, we'll be a lot better than we are right now."

Naturally, every team is dealing with the weather right now. After a summer in which is seemed like every day was either scorching hot or filled with rain, the last few days of showers have slowed the greens.

"The golf courses right now are kind of under water," Cowan said. "You have to have the mental approach that everyone's got to play the same course, so just go play. The ones that do that are going to be fine. The ones that worry about every little thing -- they're going to have some trouble."

* * *

Among today's matches, perhaps the most intriguing is the one between Winthrop and visiting Oak Hill at Springbrook Golf Club in Leeds. Both teams are also legitimate MVC contenders and opened with convincing victories.

Oak Hill defeated Spruce Mountain, 9-0, despite no scores lower than 45. Winthrop posted a 7-0 victory over Carrabec, and the team totals were 167 to 265.

Matt DiFilippo -- 861-9243

mdifilippo@mainetoday.com

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