HARWICH ─ Though the Monomoy boys golf team didn't clinch the Cape and Islands League crown, they've got their sights set on the South Sectional Championship, and with the team's top three packing a punch on the links, it's possible the team will add another trophy to the high school case.
Last week the Sharks suffered a challenging loss to Sturgis West, falling 128-148. But other matches this season have been successful, including a tri-match against Cape Tech and Sturgis East, with the Sharks winning 138 to 55 and 97 respectively, while the team defeated Cape Tech previously on Sept. 22 with a score of 47 1/2 to 6 1/2 in which the top three – Christian Pavlakis, Jake Poitras, and Matt Veary – each shot a 38, two over par at Cranberry Valley.
Head coach John Anderson said the team's first season in the Cape and Islands League has been memorable.
“It's been great,” he said. “Probably more than any other year. The kids are really mature. They know what our goals are and are focusing on those goals. It's been a great year.”
Leading the way are the team's top three players, Pavlakis, Poitras, and Veary, who trade winning scores in each match, according to Anderson.
“Really we have three number ones,” Anderson said. “Every day one of them is going to have our best scores. They're kind of interchangeable that way.”
Anderson said it helps that the trio, like many of his team members, eats, sleeps, and breathes golf, even putting in the hours during the off season.
“They're the type of golfers you want in your program,” Anderson said. “They're focused all year long. They're focused on golf, and they push each other, play rounds with each other, and they're great friends.”
Another driving force on the team is junior Owen Van Sickle, the team's fourth-spot golfer.
“He's just stepped right into the role,” said Anderson, who praised Van Sickle for his tireless efforts through the summer months. “He completely changed his game over the summer. He played every day and came in as a changed player. He's completely focused on the game.”
Anderson said that means that when practice rounds end, Van Sickle can often be found “going the extra mile” by sticking around the course to practice chipping and putting.
“That pays off,” Anderson said.
Indeed, when the Sharks triumphed against Cape Cod Academy two weeks ago, both Owen Van Sickle and his brother David were instrumental in the win, with David winning 6-3 and Owen coming in three-over-par in the 36-18 match.
Senior Peter Lucarelli, who balances his passion for golf with a love of ice hockey, also had a solid outing during the Sturgis West match.
On Oct. 16 the team will participate in the Nantucket Tournament, which will be followed by the Cape Cod Schoolboy, an event that features top golfers from across the region. Anderson has high hopes for his top three, and said he's working on helping them continue to develop as players.
“I'm working with them to build confidence so they do peak at the right time,” Anderson said. “It really just comes down to that, we have three guys who can shoot lights out when they have it going on that day. Peaking at the right time is a huge part of golf.”
Monomoy is slated to play St. John Paul II today at Cranberry Valley with a 4 p.m. start.