TERRYVILLE - The Terryville golf team had middling expectations for what the season had in store for it coming into the first match of the season against Gilbert and Wamogo Tuesday.
After the first day and 45 holes from the Kangaroos’ five golfers, those expectations may have elevated after an impressive overall team performance.
The Kangaroos finished the match with 212 points, second behind Gilbert (173 points) but ahead of Wamogo (270).
“Obviously I don’t want to jump to any huge conclusions after one day because it’s a fickle sport,” Kangaroos co-coach Mark Fowler said. “I think the thing I’ll take away here is that there is a lot of potential and maybe even greater than we had thought coming in.”
Terryville’s junior leader at the No. 1 spot, Mike Hills, finished his round with a 47.
Hills wasn’t impressed with his individual performance in his debut after batting a wrist injury last season.
“I struggled a lot,” Hills said. “I was strong with my long game and my short game but I struggled a lot with my irons. It was my approach shots I couldn’t get anywhere close where I needed them to be. It’s a tough match to start out with shooting what I did coming off of last year. I need to get after it and keep working hard.”
His matchup didn’t make things easier as Yellow Jackets sophomore Dylan Keith was the medalist for the day, with the lowest score on the course. Keith shot a round of 36.
Hills will get another shot to take on Keith next Monday when the two teams meet again.
“He was really consistent,” Hills said. “I couldn’t get in a rhythm and do anything. Toward the middle of the season I’ll have my confidence back and I think it’ll be closer.”
While Hills didn’t meet his personal expectations, the rest of the Kangaroos had strong individual days.
Andrew McLaughlin and Anthony Garuti each set career bests on the course at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots. McLaughlin shot a 54 and Garuti finished with a score of 52 at the No. 3 spot.
“The thing I was most impressed with was our No. 2 and No. 3,” Fowler said. “Andrew and Anthony both had their personal bests in a high school match. [Shooting] 52 and 54 are outstanding scores. There’s a lot to build on with no seniors on our roster. It’s a good day for us.”
For the Kangaroos No. 4 and No. 5 golfers, Dana Mazur and Jacob Zappone, it was not only their season debuts but also the first time each player had played nine holes competitively.
Zappone especially stood out shooting a 59. He was only four shots back of Gilbert’s second year player Cameron Merritt.
“Shooting a 59 for your first time out on nine holes is an incredible round,” Terryville co-coach Dean Martin said. “We’ve had kids that have been playing for years and have trouble breaking 60. So for him to come through with that is a big score.”
Mazur finished his day with a 75.
The Kangaroos moved to 1-1 on the season and will be right back on the course as they take a trip to Housatonic today for their second match of the season against Housatonic Regional and Northwestern.
Terryville’s first match should provide confidence as it was a step in the right direction. And it showed over the course of the afternoon.
“I saw positive attitudes from a lot of the guys,” Fowler said. “Even though they ran into a little trouble they fought through it and that’s something that’s an important skill in golf.”
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org