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Staples golfers have high hopes to repeat as state champs

Varsity - 2010 Season
Posted Wednesday, April 14, 2010 by Westport Minuteman
Staples High School boys’ golf coach Tom Owen has high hopes for his team this season. And why not?

The Wreckers are the defending Division I state champion and bring a bulk of last year’s top scorers back.

The Wreckers went 17-0 in the regular season and placed third in the FCIAC Tournament.

“We are returning a strong and experienced team. We hope to compete for an FCIAC championship and repeat as D1 state champs,” Owen said.

The Wreckers will have to achieve those goals with somewhat of a different look than they had last year. Charlie Knofla graduated and Andrew Gai, last season’s state tournament’s individual co-champion, transferred.

Captains this year are senior Dylan Murray and junior Kirk Massie. Other key returnees who will try to get the Wreckers back to the state pinnacle, are sophomores Austin Alianello and Sam Shafer, and juniors Brian Wolgast and Conor Mahoney 11.

Owen believes the veteran leadership and skills of Murray, Massie and Alianello is the strength of the team. The coach said he wants his golfers to put last year’s success behind them and stay focused on the task at hand.

“I will look forward to seeing who steps up and makes an impact on the team,” Owen said.

Greenwich and New Canaan are always very tough opponents the Wreckers face. New Canaan won the D-II title last spring. The Wreckers happen to face all of the defending state champs as they will also battle D-III winner Weston in a non-conference match and D-IV winner and FCIAC rival Trinity Catholic of Stamford.

Staples began the season on the road against Wilton on April 8 and shot a 159 to defeat the Warriors (177). Following two more road matches, at St. Joseph in Trumbull and New Canaan, the Wreckers have their first home match of the spring on April 28 when Warde comes to Longshore CC. The Wreckers have a busy end to the month of April as they visit New Canaan and host Warde and Fairfield Ludlowe in a period of three days, April 27-29. Staples doesn’t face Greenwich until the Cardinals visit Longshore on May 25 in the second to last match of the regular campaign.

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