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Patriots’ improvement was linked to a solid work ethic

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TOWNSEND — The North Middlesex Patriots’ golf squad, under the direction of head coach Derick Fors and assistant coach Chris Jamieson, finished the ’08 campaign with a 6-9 slate, and a fourth-place finish in the tough MidWach A loop.

The Patriot linksmen had two victories over league foes Milford and Fitchburg, a single win over MidWach A rival Leominster, as well as a non-league triumph over Oakmont.

“The kids played well overall in a very tough league,” said coach Fors, whose squad played their home matches at Townsend Ridge Country Club, where he is the head professional. “Our usual top five players were underclassmen and one of the things that impressed me about this group is that they got better every week.”

The Pats were led throughout the year by junior Ben Deignan, who was the lone North Middlesex golfer to qualify for the Central Massachusetts championships.

“Ben is a kid that fell in love with the sport a couple of years ago and has devoted himself to playing the game,” said Fors. “He has been medalist in half our matches, and what impresses me about Ben is he has talent but he is also a very hard worker. He goes out to the practice range and works on his overall game. He is one of the longest hitters in our league and had a 37 scoring average. He has a great future.”

Playing at number two for most matches was sophomore Myles Wharram, who moved early in the season from the number four slot.

“Myles scored around 40 in each match and is a kid with a bright future who improved immensely as the year progressed,” said Fors.

Senior Scott Connolly held down the third spot for most of the year and was a veteran who “had a good mental approach to the game” according to coach Fors.

Junior Shane Koble, often playing in the four hole, overcame some early struggles to improve tremendously, according to Fors and is “a kid who puts a lot of effort into his game and is a great kid to coach.”

Freshman Will Foster was a rookie who showed a lot of promise, with some expected early season inconsistencies. “Will improved with experience and shows a lot of promise with a three-year varsity career ahead of him,” said Fors.

Carl Priddle, a senior, held down the six hole most of the season.

“Carl is a great kid and a team player with a lot of character,” said Fors. “He held down the bottom of the order with a lot of consistency.”

Chris Hathaway, another senior, was a quiet leader on the club, who worked hard each day and was a model of consistency, Fors noted, and he was followed in the order by a triumvirate of freshmen in C.J. Flavin, Andrew Wass and Justin Roberts.

“Our two seniors, Carl and Chris, as well as our three freshmen, C.J., Andrew and Justin added a good mix to the team,” said Fors. “We had a nice mix of senior leadership and youthful enthusiasm, with our freshmen leaving the season with a lot of promise for the future.”

Rounding out the squad were Eric Wilson, Brandon Heyeidus, Tom Cook, Zach Mafera, Tyler TenBroeck, Zach Glow, Dan Crory, Josh Page, Matt Morico, Dan Pare, Shawn Lowe, Pat O’Neil, Terrence Dineen and J.P. Dineen.

“Even the kids who didn’t get a chance to compete in matches came and worked hard to be better golfers,” said Fors. “We had a good year and I’d like to thank (assistant coach) Chris Jamieson for all his help with the program. We were a young team that improved as the year went on and I’m very happy with our overall progress.”