OV wins State Championship!

THE OTTER VALLEY boys’ golf team dominated the Division II championship match this past Thursday, winning easily. Shown, from left, are team members Jordan Beayon, Hayden Bernhardt, Lucas Politano, Matt Bryant and Thomas Politano.


MANCHESTER — The Otter Valley boys’ golf team dominated the field at the Manchester Country Club on Thursday, Oct. 10 to win the Division II championship by a 22-stroke margin.

The last time the OV boys won a team championship was 1969, OV golf coach Greg Hughes said.

At the championship meet, the Otters collectively shot a 343, well ahead of runner-up Stowe (365).

Lucas Politano fired a four-over-par 76 to lead the charge. His score was just one stroke behind the medalist, U-32’s Riley Richards.

Also scoring for the Otters were Thomas Politano (85), Matthew Bryant (88) and Jordan Beayon (94). 

The rest of the field trailed OV and Stowe: 3. Peoples (383); 4. U-32 (384); 5. Harwood (387); and 6. Woodstock (393).

“The positive teamwork of stringing good shots together and having a good mentality throughout the round was key in their win,” said OV coach Greg Hughes of the championship match.

Reflecting back on the season, Hughes said “when I took the coaching position, the first thing the boys said was they were going to win the championship this year. They were very confident in themselves and each other in being able to put up a score that would win.

“We started the season off as a full team with a win at Woodstock, beating Woodstock and Rutland, which was a confidence boost. But then,” he continued, “we hadn’t put together a full team until Southern Valley conferences due to dual sport athletes on the team. We did not win that and we ended up being fifth at sectionals.

“The boys never lost that vision of winning, though,” Hughes added, noting that Matt Bryant and Jordan Beayon were a part of many matches this year, “continually improving as they went and pulling out their best rounds at the state championship,” which, he said, was “great timing.“

Lucas Politano, Thomas Politano and Hayden Bernhardt, Hughes explained, played soccer and were not able to practice as much, but did a lot of work on their own time in preparation for the title match. As it turned out, Lucas Politano also qualified to play at the New England high school golf championship meet at the Mohegan Sun Golf in Baltic, Conn., on Nov. 1.

Hughes said he was happy with the way the season turned out.

“It was a fun group to be around and a very motivated group that is looking to come back next year and repeat,” he said. “We will lose Hayden next year, but we’ll return the four scores counted in winning.”

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