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Cavaliers won’t be able to compete for golf team title

NASHUA – It was all looking good this week for the Hollis Brookline High School golf team.

The Division II team tournament was scheduled to be Thursday at Sky Meadow, where a few of the Cavaliers not only have played but also work.

It was a rare semi-home course advantage – until Mother Nature intervened.

The tournament was cancelled ahead of time by the NHIAA on Wednesday due to the recent storm, and Thursday morning it was announced it would not be rescheduled, with the Divsion IV tourney slated for Kingswood Golf Club suffering the same fate.

The rules are pretty well spelled out in the NHIAA Policy and Procedures for golf state tourney cancellations. In the case of the team tourney being cancelled, the regular season champion – in the Division II case, Kennett – gets the title. Kennett and Hollis Brookline each finished 22-3 regular season records, but the Eagles finished first due to the ratings vs. tournament teams tiebreaker.

“This decision was not made lightly by the NHIAA, Golf Committee, or the New Hampshire Golf Association (NHGA),” NHIAA Marketing/Media Coordinator Shannon Quinn said in a statement emailed to media outlets.

According to Quinn, rescheduling for today was not an option, as NHIAA Executive director Jeff Collins spoke to the groundskeeper at Sky Meadow “and was told they were not going to be able to accommodate us on Friday.”

This is old hat for first-year Hollis Brookline coach Shaun Hastings, as the same thing happened to his Division III Campbell team he coached a year ago.

“My team is upset but we understand the policy and procedures by the NHIAA and they followed them,” Hastings said via email on Thursday. “It’s upsetting but it’s the policy so there’s not much we can do.”

The issue is how to decide who can play from tourney teams in Divisions II and IV in the second round of the divisional individual tournament on Sunday at Beaver Meadow in Concord. Normally the top 14 overall scores are taken from the team tourney for the Division II individual event.

But the contingency play via rule for Division II is that the top 12 teams can choose two players each to compete. So that’s what will happen.

“Teams who were unfortunately unable to play today will choose players to send to the tournament on Sunday,” the NHIAA email said.

However, the Cavs and others may get shortchanged here too. HB has golfers such as Aaron Brown plus Gary and Grady Sturges who theoretically may have made the cut for Sunday’s individual round, but the Cavs can only allow two to go now. Other teams will be able to send players who may not have made the cut otherwise.

“I’m a big believer in going by the policy,” Milford coach Bill Soubosky said. “But in the future it should be changed. Some players are taking spots that might have gone to other qualifiers. I feel bad for some teams, including Hollis.”

The Cavaliers were discussing as a team Thursday how they select who will send, and it seems they’ll do it through competition.

“We have tee times (today),” Hastings said. “My team worked hard this year and it was nice they bring home the runnerup hardware, and they’re proud of that.”