The Old Town High School varsity golf team capped off a successful 2014 season with a strong 4th place finish at the Maine High School Class B State Golf Championship this past Saturday.
“We had a goal to shoot 320,” said Old Town coach Joe Perdue. “Last year, Camden won it with 321. Even though we didn’t accomplish our goal today, these kids all did very well.”
Daniel shot an 8-over-par 80 for the Coyotes. Freshman Chris Kauppila had 83, senior Devan Morin had his best 18-hole round of the year with 85. Sophomore Alex Blackie battled through a really bad break to shoot 90, while junior Lucas Shorette rounded out Old Town’s team with 99.
Coach Perdue said the Coyote team wasn’t all that far from reaching their goal for the day. “Daniel, our number one player, was a little bit nervous on the first tee, and topped his tee shot into a water hazard. He ended up making 7 on the short par 5, which is a hole he’d normally make birdie or par. Otherwise, he played very well for the rest of the championship.
“Blackie just got one of those really bad breaks on #17, which was his 10th hole of the day. He was only two over par through his first nine holes. On #17, which is an uphill, dogleg left, he hit a perfect fairway wood off the tee, drew it right around the corner, and the group he was playing with saw it bounce on the left side of the fairway, kicking right into the middle of the fairway.
“I had been watching the group hit from the back of the tee, and once they had all hit their tee shots, I was dropping back to watch another group coming up #16. About five minutes later, I see Alex in the middle of the fairway, looking for a ball. The next group had started to hit, so I headed up the fairway to see what was going on. As it turned out, someone in the group ahead had picked up his ball from the middle of the fairway. Since we didn’t see it, Alex had to count it as a lost ball and ended up making a triple-bogey 7 on the hole. It took him a couple of holes to recover from that, and by that time he’d made another triple-bogey and quadruple-bogey, and the wheels just came off a little bit.”
Perdue said that a bad break like that can be tough for any player, much less someone competing for the first time ever in a state championship situation. “I thought that Alex handled everything very well, given the circumstances. It’s something he will learn from, and while this smarts quite a bit right now, it will make him an even tougher competitor in the future.
Perdue also talked a little bit about freshman Chris Kauppila, who finished the season as Old Town’s number two player. “Chris had a two hole stretch where he made back-to-back double-bogey’s on a couple of par 5’s, holes where I would expect he would normally make a par or birdie. Otherwise, he’s looking at a 75 or 76 for his round.
“So taking all of that into consideration, this team was really not all that far off from what we set out to do. It would have been really tough to catch Camden today. Their #1 player shot a 3-under-par 69, and they had one other player break 80. But we could very easily have finished a couple of spots higher than we did if we’d had a couple of bounces go our way.
“But that’s the nature of the game. Sometimes you get good breaks, sometimes the breaks don’t work in your favor. It’s that way for every player on every team. I am not at all disappointed how we finished at this championship. The kids played hard, they handled the pressure of playing in a state championship very well, and represented Old Town High School with a lot of class and their heads held high.”
Old Town had a great run this year. They won the pre-season Coyote Invitational, dropped their first match of the year against Mattanawcook, then went on to win 18 straight regular season matches. They won the PVC Championship at JATO Highlands to run their overall season record to 20-1.
“Every kid on this team worked their tail off all season,” said Perdue. “They were out here shoveling snow off my driving range tee so they could start practicing in February. Most of them practiced and played all summer long in various programs, leagues and tournaments we have at the course. By the time the high school season started at the end of August, they were ready to go.
“They all have a lot to be proud of, and every one of them should feel good about what they accomplished this year. I could not be more proud of this group. It was a pleasure and an honor to be their coach this season.”