Lots of ingredients for 2018 high school golf season

Staff file photo by TOM KING Landon Johnson is one of only a few returnees for the Nashua South golf team as the season gets underway this week.

For some, there’s a new scoring system in town.

Area high school golf teams Souhegan, Hollis Brookline, Milford and Campbell will now be using the Stableford scoring system for regular season matches this year, as Divisions II, III and IV have adopted the new rule. The idea is to help players not focus so much on their individual scores.

“I’m encouraging my youth to enjoy playing the Stableford scoring system,” Milford coach Bill Soubosky said. “With this point system, we should embrace it and tell the players there will be no rear view mirrors out there – just keep going forward for your points.”

By points, Soubosky is talking about four points for an eagle, three for birdie, two for par and one for a bogey. The highest four point getters for a team in Divisions III and IV will be used for the team score, and the top five in Division II.

Meanwhile, it will continue to be stroke (medal) play in Division I. It was a down year locally in that state tournament, as Bishop Guertin and Alvirne finished tied for eighth as the highest finishes while Nashua North, South and Merrimack didn’t make the team tourney.

However, North has arguably the area’s best player. The Titans have some returnees but that includes last year’s Telegraph Player of the Year Bryce Zimmerman. As a freshman, he was a medalist for six matches and was the runnerup in the Division I state individual tournament. The Titans missed the team event, but with Zimmerman leading the way, don’t expect that to happen again.

Alvirne lost four starters from last season’s team that finished tied with BG, but the Broncos have good numbers.

Guertin had lost some key seniors, but the Cards as usual have plenty of returnees. Nashua South has four key returnees, led by senior T.J. Gillis.

Merrimack, with new coach and Whip-Poor-Will pro Ray Smith, looks to rebuild.

In Division II, Hollis roared to a surprising third place finish last season. The Cavs have a new coach, Clinton Goodwin, as does Souhegan in Jon Garrity – plus eight regular scorers back.Milford has just six players as of now, including state tourney qualifier Jacob Dube, so the Spartans are in true rebuilding mode.

In Division III, Campbell has one of its best scorers from last year, sophomore Sean Ryan, back, while the Cougars have a host of new players.

Favorites?

“The usual suspects will be expected to fight for the title (in Division I),” Nashua South coach Steve Lane, who has four regulars or semi-regulars back from last season. “Bedford, BG, Pinkerton, Keene and Exeter.”

Hanover has been tough in Division II. The season, and the new system (for some), is here as both Alvirne and Nashua North are slated to open up today and others later this week.

Here’s a look at the area’s teams:

ALVIRNE

COACH: Bob Lind (12th season)

LAST SEASON: 11-9, eighth in state tournament.

RETURNING REGULARS: Tyler Lizotte, sr.; Ryan Santos, sr.; Jackie Dowd, sr., Michael Dowling, jr.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Brett McKinley,jr.; Colby Dillon, jr.; Anthony DeRosa, jr.; Kyle Harmon, so.

COACH’S COMMENTS: “It will be important for the new players to get comfortable with their new roles right away,” Lind said. “Luckily we have some great kids who are willing to listen and try new things to improve, so I’m expecting a good run to make the states again this year.”

BISHOP GUERTIN

COACH: Paul Rousseau (15th season)

LAST SEASON: 16-4, tied for eighth in state tournament.

RETURNING REGULARS: Brad Dubay, sr.; Jasmin Javanbakht, sr.; Alex Koutsos, sr.; Steve McLendon, sr.; Jack Fitzgerald, jr.; Aaron Pratt, jr.; Ryan Horgan, so.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Brett Daniel, jr.; William Scanlon, jr.; Luke Mutty, so.; Cody Sheehy, so. ; Max Schilling, so.

COACH’S COMMENTS: “We have a nice group of returning players,” Rousseau said. “We should be very competitive. Our main goal is to qualify for the state tournament as a team.”

MERRIMACK

COACH: Ray Smith.

LAST SEASON: Did not qualify for state tourney.

RETURNING REGULARS: Cameron Higham, jr.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Patrick Browning, so.

COACH’S COMMENTS: “Lots of new kids,” Smith said. “And if I can work with them, and teach them, by the time they’re juniors and seniors we’ll be competitive.”

NASHUA NORTH

COACH: Scott Anderson (12th season)

LAST SEASON: 8-12, did not qualify for team tournament.

RETURNING REGULARS: James Bolton, sr.; Patrick Gillis, sr.; Nate Chisholm, sr.; Tyler Jagentelfl, jr.; Bryce Zimmerman, so.; Christopher McQuinn, so.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Spenser Champagne, so.; Chloe Young, jr.; Thomas Kelly, so.

COACH’S COMMENTS: “It’s a good mix of returners and newcomers,” Anderson said, “with players trying to get better and better each week.”

NASHUA SOUTH

COACH: Steve Lane (14th year)

LAST SEASON: 6-14, did not qualify for tournament.

RETURNING LETTER WINNERS: T.J. Gillis, sr.; Alex St. Laurent, jr.; Landon Johnson, sr.; Grace Conard, so.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: N/A

COACH’S COMMENTS: “This is a young teamthat will look to gain confidence and experience throughout the season,” Lane said.

DIVISION II

HOLLIS BROOKLINE

COACH: Clinton Goodwin (first season)

RETURNING STARTERS: Matthew Dias, so.; Aaron Brown, jr.; Rory Klauber.

OTHER RETURNING LETTER WINNERS: Tony LaFrance, jr.; Jackson Lewis, jr.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Mike Montgomery, fr.

COACH’S COMMENTS: “We lost a lot of seniors last year,” Goodwin said, “but our team has a lot of young talent. They show up every day ready to learn; we just need to minimize mistakes on the course and stay away from three-putting. Our short game is key.”

MILFORD

COACH: Bill Soubosky

LAST SEASON: Did not qualify for state tournament.

RETURNING REGULARS: Jacob Dube, so.; Corey Girouard, so.; Mason Dorsey, so.; Zachary Girouard, sr.; Sean Miles, sr.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Ryan Cavanaugh, fr.

COACH’S COMMENTS: “We’ll have more players coming next year,” Soubosky said. “I’ll enjoy seeing the progress of our youth in rebuilding Milford golf. Cavanaugh is a player to watch with loads of skill.”

SOUHEGAN

COACH: Jon Garrity (first year)

LAST SEASON: 16-11, tied for ninth in state tournament.

RETURNING REGULARS: Quade Bell, jr.; Jeffrey Boehm, sr.; Ethan Cockerill, jr.; John Henzell, sr.; Nick Jordan, sr.; John Natale,sr.; Lydi Tesconi, jr.; Michael Zaccaria, sr.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: None.

COACH’S COMMENTS: “With a playoff season last year and the entire varsity team returning,” Garrity said, “I’m hopeful for a very successful season.”

DIVISION III

CAMPBELL

COACH: Shaun Hastings (second season).

LAST SEASON: Did not qualify for state tournament.

RETURNING REGULARS: Jake Tayor, jr.; Nick Molinari, jr.; Sean Ryan, so.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Mason Jeffrey, jr.; Emily Gamache, jr.; Cam Feely, so. Chris Grondine, so.; Shane Passaro, fr.; Travis Breton, fr.; Eddie Britt, fr.; Nathan Perry, fr.

COACH’S COMMENTS: “Sean Ryan scored well for us last year and is getting better every day,” Hastings said. “Taylor and Molinari have improved their golf game a great deal in the offseason, and the new players seem to be taking to the sport in a competitive manor very well.”