TEWKSBURY – It was a big week for the Tewksbury High Golf Team, with the Redmen taking two wins against MVC rivals and bouncing back from a heavy loss to Haverhill the week before. The Redmen beat Lowell on Monday by a score of 13.5-6.5 and then pulled out a 10.5-9.5 thriller on Andover at the Renaissance Golf Course on Sunday to round off their great week and theirs at the same time Record improving to 3-2 in the season.
Tewksbury started their week by defeating Lowell in their first home game of the season at Trull Brook. With some challenges on the court due to rain lately, the game at Trull Brook has been moved to the back nine as opposed to the top nine where they usually play, but the Redmen were unimpressed by the change.
In the first group, the seniors John Ragucci and Brady Lane ran out and despite a very good performance came out 3-2 at the short end, with Ragucci winning his match with 2.
“Brady and John play so well together and Brady has been in a tough spot lately as number two is so tough, but he holds on and fights throughout the game and works with John who helps him out too,” said Tewksbury trainer Jim Sullivan. “Brady has been and continues to be a strong senior leader for us, and is helping our team in so many other ways that I wouldn’t overlook his contributions as he just happened to be facing such tough competition lately.
In the second group, the usual play partners appeared, Junior Conor Cremin and Matt Cooke in the second year. Cooke won his singles 4 & 3 while he and Cremin flattened the best ball game, dividing the group 2.5-2.5. The final two groups would be hot for Tewksbury, with group three bringing in four points behind a solid year 2 4 & 2 win by Jeremy Insogna, an individual match (tie) for Senior Andrew DellaPiana, and a best-ball win for Insogna and Della Piana 4 & 2 .
The final group of the day brought home all five points behind Jason Cooke’s 3 & 2 win and Ryan Flynn’s 4 & 3 win along with a win for the team with the best ball of 4 & 3, securing an overall win of 13.5-6.5.
“That was a very good, solid win for us today. We came out after a few days off on the weekend and played pretty well, which isn’t really our story on Mondays after the weekend off, ”said Sullivan. I’m very excited and excited that our players are coming out and playing like this today, especially on the second nine. Today was a good move for us on the MVC II part of our schedule and has been very good in development for our younger players.
It’s nice to be at home for a change, but we have to take to the streets and play better than before to be successful this season. It was a challenge to play so many of the MVC I teams early on, but we really hope that this experience our players gain will continue to help them improve and develop so that when we finally get the Reach MVC II part of the game board, click on all cylinders. “
The Redmen definitely seemed to be clicking every possible cylinder the next day as they stunned Andover in an MVC crossover match at the Renaissance Golf Course, the perennial MVC Division 1 powerhouse that accomplished the very rare feat, and not just defeat a Division 1 powerhouse but also do it on the road.
“It was a great win for our players and our program,” said Sullivan. “Andover is the crème de la crème in the MVC in golf every year, and traditionally we don’t always travel well to these longer and tighter courses, but today our boys played well enough to get the win.”
After Tewksbury lost 5-0 in the first group, Tewksbury recovered and won the second group 3-2 behind a single win by Cooke (1-up) and a best-ball win by Cooke and Conor Cremin (2-up ).
Group three was a halved group 2.5-2.5, with Insogna winning his singles match 1-up and then teaming up with Della Piana for a flat in the best ball match.
Despite their good play in these two groups, the Redmen were still in a 9.5-5.5 hole as they waited for the final group of Cooke and Flynn to finish their match.
It looked like this was going to be the final putt on the final hole and in fact Jason Cooke ended his individual match by first plating his hole and winning his match 1-up, then knocking Andover out, leaving Flynn with about a tripod to win his single game and best ball game for Tewksbury. Flynn stepped up and struck his putt, giving the Redmen a 5-0 group result and an exciting 10.5-9.5 win behind the win on the road.
“This group is special and a great group of people and players. They’re always working to get better and better, and that’s what makes them special, ”said Sullivan. “They work on it, they invest the time in practice, regardless of whether we are on the track or off it. The days when we can’t come out and play, they work on and around the greens and watch them play today, that paid off.
“These kids train hard against each other, always train each other under pressure, they are so competitive and that prepared them to be in the position they were in today and to be successful.”
As excited as Sullivan and his players were to beat Andover, they could put him in perspective and prepare for the next game by doing another multi-year golf powerhouse program at Central Catholic, Trull Brook on, should compete on Wednesday. The results of that game were not yet in when the Town Crier went to press, and it was impossible to say how the Redmen would fare against another very talented opponent, but Sullivan was certain the Redmen would be ready to play.
“We all enjoyed the bus ride home today, but just like the other games, wins or losses, the past is behind us and it is time to move forward as tomorrow brings another challenge,” said Sullivan . “Our approach will remain the same throughout the year, we’ll go out tomorrow and try to be better at home than we were on the street today. We don’t talk about winning a game, we talk about getting better and better every stroke, round and day, and if we keep doing that, the results will come and come on their own. I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s true, that’s how we work and today it worked and we were successful. “