WILMINGTON – If you spend about 20 minutes talking to Rhiannon Dyment, you’ll have a good time. She doesn’t stop smiling, she is funny and she likes to laugh. She is also intelligent, articulate, and obviously a hardworking student athlete ranked 4th in her academic class and a two-sport athlete. She aspires to go to college and become some kind of lawyer.
Before she gets that far, the senior, who is only 5’1 ” and made the history of Wilmington High School by being named the first female golf team captain, has a simple but daunting goal to accomplish before this season ends.
And no, it’s not a hole-in-one.
“In my first, second and younger seasons we have been winless so I’m pretty much winless for the team,” she said with a laugh. “A win would definitely be nice. It hurts to be four years without a single team win, but I’m optimistic about this season. I go out every day to do my best (to try and make the team win) so hopefully it will happen. “
Before the start of the 2021 season, head coach Steve Lynch had a difficult decision to choose a captain. Having had no wins in the past three years, he wanted a leader, but someone who was also committed to the sport, the program and, in this case, her teammates.
“Rhiannon paid her dues. She has been with us for three years and is very committed to the team, ”said Lynch. “She hasn’t missed a training session or game in her entire career. She always wants to get better. She has a great attitude. She is always cheerful and tries to keep the team positive. The children respect her and the other seniors respect her and want to play with her while they are playing. She suits us.
“When I made the decision to make her captain, I knew it had never been done before, but the fact is, she deserved it. There were other worthy candidates, too, but she deserved it. And there were no problems whatsoever with their teammates. Her personality is just so engaging for anyone who comes in contact with her. “
Dyment is believed to be only the second woman to play on a WHS golf team while current freshman teammate Abigail Mitchell becomes the third. They both follow Aubrey Ungvarsky, who was appointed to the Boston Herald All-Scholastic women’s team in 2009 and finished ninth overall at the individual state championship meeting. She played against boys and ended that day with a score of 86. She went to the University of Hartford on an athletic scholarship.
“I know Aubrey from Coach Lynch and other teachers at the school, but I’ve never met her,” Dyment said. Little did I know when I tried it that I was the only second woman in the history of the program. I knew about Aubrey, but I didn’t know that we were the only two back then and now Abigail is the third. “
Being a woman on a boys’ team is never the easiest thing, just as a man playing on an all-female team is not easy either. But if you love the sport it’s easy because in the end that’s all that matters.
She definitely does – she has been involved in sport for a long time.
“I started very young because my family plays a lot of golf – my grandfather, my father, my mother, my brother and my extended family – pretty much my whole family. I actually started taking classes at Hillview (Country Club in North Reading, the Wildcats’ home course), probably when I was five or six years old. Then my parents joined Meadowbrook Golf Club in Reading so I started taking lessons there, nothing serious, just classes and how to swing a club. I only started getting really competitive with golf in middle school and I joined the Meadowbrooks Junior League team and did so for a few years. “
The couple has since passed the sport on to Rhiannon and her younger brother Braedon, who is an eighth grader and is currently on the Austin Prep JV team.
“My mother only started playing golf in college. My dad played in high school and I remember telling me how he played at Hillview. He grew up in North Reading. My grandfather, Larry Dyment, was on the Hillview Board of Directors and his picture is on there. He’s the reason my dad got on it, ”she said. “We go out a lot and we did it in the summer before my father went to work. Usually we do family golf together later in the evening on Sundays. “
And when the family competes against each other, who is the best?
“Definitely my father. I want to remember that one day I can beat him, but right now he’s the champion. I’m getting close to him so he should be scared, ”she said with a big laugh.
Then she was asked about her brother’s game.
“He’s pretty decent, I’ll admit that. I always tell him he’s horrible just to joke, but he’s really good, ”she said with a big smile. “He’s definitely good at taking tee offs with his irons. He’s a longer hitter than me. “
As for her game, she can play. Her lowest score this season is 43 for nine holes. During the 2018 spring season, at the women’s state championship meeting, she would have taken her to sixth place in the states with 86 points (doubling her 43 points for nine). In the fall 2017 season that played with the boys, she’d be around 30 in the state.
So far this season she is 4-1 in match play, but in her four years she has won about ten match play games – all against boys and for a team that has not yet won a game.
“I’ve never played a girl before. There are some teams in the league that have a girl or two but I’ve never played one, ”she said. “I have an advantage because of my tee box when I get closer, but all the guys overtake and overtake me, but it’s okay. I like to play them. It’s a challenge and helps me stay focused. “
She said that there is no trash talking with her teammates or her opponents and that everyone respects one another. She was asked if she was the leader and if there had ever been any issues with the role of a player.
“(My teammates) are good at it. They respect me and I respect them. They’re all part of the team so they all know what they’re doing. So it’s not difficult to keep them all together or to bring them together. “
For Rhiannon, her game speaks for itself, a 43 is quite respectable, as is the ability to hit the ball 200 yards “on a good day” and 100 yards with a pitching wedge.
“My short game has been really good lately. I’ve had some good chip shots in a few matches lately and that’s how I won the Watertown match, my short game kept me in it. I rely heavily on my irons for my fairway shots, but chipping and putting are definitely my strengths, ”she said.
Lynch said Dyment has improved dramatically over the years.
“She has gained some distance from the tee, which was important for her,” he said. “She learned to use her upper body to accelerate her shot. She needs that from the tee, especially when she’s playing against all the guys, so that was a big improvement for her. “
While she has her strengths on her golf clubs and on the courses, her real strength is herself – a lively, extremely positive and incredibly friendly young lady. Perhaps three of the many reasons she was chosen as the sole captain.
“It’s a great honor. I’ve been with the team since the first year and have played every game, every training session and just always am there with a smile and try my best. When I was told that I was being appointed captain, I was really honored and grateful for the opportunity, ”she said.
While she is grateful for this opportunity, she would like one more opportunity, or as many as possible, to achieve victory.
“(In lacrosse) we had four wins last year, the most we have had in a few years. My first high school win on a sports team wasn’t until last spring’s lacrosse season. It can be daunting. It was actually our senior night game when we took our first win. Everyone on the team was like ‘win it for the seniors’ and I walked off the field after the game and said ‘my first high school win’.
“So far this season we’ve had a good start and were close to winning, but not yet. We are 0-5. We still have five games to go, so we still have plenty of opportunities to maybe take a win. It would be nice to have one. I am hopefull.”