Sports Editor - Salmon Press Newspapers
September 16, 2020WOLFEBORO — The schedule will be shorter, there will be some changes, but the Kingswood golf team is going to be back on the links in the new season.
The Governor Wentworth Regional School District board recently approved the golf team starting the season a little earlier than the rest of the Kingswood fall teams. The New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association categorized golf as a "low-risk" sport, which allowed it to start games last Thursday while the majority of fall sports are scheduled to start the season this coming Friday.
"It was great to see the kids in person in summer sessions," coach Jeremy Fuller said. "The kids have been getting out on the course and playing at a safe distance. And I've enjoyed being out there with them."
Fuller noted that when the state gave the return to play approval earlier in the summer, kids starting getting back on the course and he said that this year has been the most he's seen kids playing in the offseason and that's showing as the team opened up with practices.
The Knights will have three seniors who will be helping to lead the way. Reese Clarke has been a part of the lineup for the last three years and is expected to put up some solid scores. Classmate Justin Stirt is also expected to do well after some good results last year and Rob Doherty played in a few matches last year and had a great first couple days of practice.
The Knights have a junior class that is loaded with experience and Fuller expects all of them to be among the top contenders on the team.
Henry Saunders, Michael Palmer, Tyler Sprince and Max Roark all have plenty of match experience and should be able to put up low scores.
Sophomore Will Danais is also in contention and brings a very competitive spirit to the team.
Freshman Tate Hurtado also has the makings of a solid player with good fundamentals already on display as the team began practices.
All told, 16 kids are out for 12 spots on the team. Fuller expects that there will be two developmental teams, with each team meeting two days a week, which allows everyone who wants to play golf can be part of the team.
"Kingswood Golf Club really helped us out with that," Fuller stated.
The season will be a little different, with just four matches prior to the state championship. With all teams qualifying for the open tournament, the number of athletes each school sends will be cut from eight to five, with the top four scores counting for each team.
"It will be pretty competitive to earn those spots," Fuller said.
The Knights will have two home matches at Kingswood Golf Club, one on Sept. 24 and one on Oct. 5, both against Kennett. They will also compete at North Conway Country Club and opened the season after deadline at Ridgewood in Moultonborough.
"Ridgewood is a place we haven't played much, but I think if we can figure out the greens, we should do OK up there," Fuller said.
And like everyone, he is hopeful that keeping things safe will allow people to have a full season.
"Hopefully we can continue to be safe and have a full season," Fuller noted.
The team returns to action at home on Thursday, Oct. 24, at Kingswood Golf Club.
Sports Editor Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 279-4516, ext. 155 or email@example.com.