EASTON – The good times keep on rolling for the Nauset boys golf team. And now the Warriors are moving on to the state final.
Just days after senior Cooper Guiliano led Nauset to a team title at the Cape Cod High School Golf Championship on Friday at Willowbend, freshman Jack Martin anchored another strong performance for the Warriors by tying for first place at Monday’s Division 2 South sectional championship.
The freshman phenom shared medalist honors with Bishop Stang’s Redmond Podkowa and Old Rochester’s Markus Pierre, as all three players shot 1-over-par 72s to help their respective teams clinch spots in next week’s Division 2 state final, which is scheduled for Monday at Sandy Burr Country Club in Wayland.
“I’ve been on a roll lately,” said Martin, a Yarmouth resident and the team’s No. 1 player. “I have two solid tournament rounds, and the practice round here definitely helped me pick up some targets and which clubs to hit on each hole. I’m very proud of the team.”
Each team had six players play and the team’s best four scores counted toward the team total. The top three team scores advanced to the state final. Bishop Stang won the South title with 299 points, while Nauset (305) and Old Rochester (312) each did enough to qualify.
In addition to Martin’s 72, Guiliano’s 74, junior Jack Cronan’s 78 and senior Nemo Frawley’s 81 counted toward the Warriors’ team score. Juniors Pete Murphy (96) and Sam Weiner (92) also competed for Nauset, though their scores didn’t count toward the team total.
As pleased as Brian Hicks was to see the Warriors string together another strong round of golf, the coach admits he was a little surprised to see his team find its way out of a South field stacked with stiff competition.
“This is one of the biggest surprises that we’ve caught this much momentum in my time here,” Hicks said. “We’ve had some good teams that have qualified, but to be honest, I didn’t think we’d make it out of here, so I’m ecstatic with the way they played. It was a full team effort — guys worked hard yesterday at the practice round, they were focused and determined and it paid dividends.”
Guiliano, an Orleans resident, said he was hardly at his best during Monday’s sectional.
“My game, overall, was just kind of bog standard,” he said. “Nothing was perfect — the front nine putting was OK, back nine putting wasn’t great. It was kind of all over the place. Some holes I would be hitting the ball well off the tee, some holes I wasn’t. I fought my way around the course and got the job done.”
Frawley, the team’s only other senior, said he took the course Monday with a simple approach: He focused on himself.
“I started out with a triple (bogie) and then just forgot about it and played my game,” said Frawley, an Eastham resident. “It was just me versus the course instead of me versus anybody — that was my mindset all year.”
If there was one player surprised with his score it was Cronan, a Barnstable resident, who said he was determined to do his part and help the Warriors qualify for the state tournament for Frawley and Guiliano.
“I was playing my slices off the tees, which was a huge thing keeping it on the fairways,” Cronan said. “The rough was pretty thick today, so I was really just hitting my long irons onto the greens and I tried to play for bogie, but my long irons were on point today and I was able to focus on two-putting for par.”
Although the field of teams will only get tougher at next week’s state championship, the Warriors undoubtedly enter the tournament with momentum after their past two performances.
While Hicks wasn’t about to make any declarations or predictions about what will happen at the state championship, the coach did say he felt good about the energy the Warriors will bring to Wayland.
“With any sport, momentum is key,” Hicks said. “We’re riding some momentum right now — we’re playing well at the right time and we’re hoping we can keep that going for another week.”
Email Brad Joyal at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @BradJoyal