Hoosac Valley edges BBA in annual Patriot Classic

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BENNINGTON — Over 18 holes of golf, there's always a chance to either gain or lose a shot — maybe a good bounce onto a green or a run into a sand trap.

Through all the ups and downs, the Hoosac Valley Hurricanes had all four of its scorers in the top 10 to edge Burr and Burton by a single shot at the annual Patriot Classic at Mount Anthony Country Club on Tuesday.

After the top two teams, there was a gap back to Hartford and Rutland, as Hartford edged out the Raiders by one shot, 379-380. Mount Anthony was fifth with a 445 total, and Otter Valley was incomplete, with only one player competing.

"We have been setting some team goals, and we're young, so hopefully we can stay that way," said Mount Anthony golf coach Stephen Carknard, the host of the tournament.

The battle for the medalist spot was as fierce at the team competition. Hoosac's Henry Sniezek eked out the victory with an 81, just one stroke better than Burr and Burton's Ben Swinarton's 82.

The next four golfers were all a shot apart — Hartford's Brady Hathorn was third at 83, BBA's Chapin Eyre fired an 84, Rutland's Ethan Schmitt was the top Raider with an 85 and Andrew Marsden was the leading Patriot, shooting an 86 on his home course for a sixth-place overall.

Through his first nine holes — which actually were No. 10 through 18 as his group started on the back nine of the course — he had shot a 41, putting him into contention.

"Andrew was only five off the medalist, but he had a bit of a bogey train on the front [nine holes]," Carknard said.

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Hartford's Jared Vanderpot was seventh with an 89, while Hoosac Valley's Luc Trombley (90), Corben Craig (91) and Colby Rougeau (92) filled the rest of the top 10.

"I know a lot of the guys started playing earlier, and there's some very consistent golfers in the [southern part of the state]," Carknard said. "That's one of our philosophies for the MAU program. We all want to get better, and I'm seeing some improvement."

Carknard had a bit of a surprise as well when the teams returned to the clubhouse. Matt Harrington, a late addition as the No. 5 golfer, ended up with a 114, the second-best score for the Patriots. Michael McKenna (122) and Ryan Sawyer (123) were third and fourth for MAU, with Adam Restino fifth (126).

"He was a last-minute add and he went out and had his best score," Carknard said. "We definitely have some things to build off of. I don't think he's shot 60 for a nine-hole qualifier yet and if you break his round down today, it's an average of 57."

After Burr and Burton's Swinarton and Eyre, Dillon Callen shot 94, followed by Ben Ario's 95. Carson Cutler was fifth for BBA with a score of 100.

On the girls side, only Burr and Burton and Rutland had full teams, with the Raiders scoring a victory, 187-219.

Rutland's Jillian Miles and Kristen Pariseau scored a 93 and 94, respectively, followed by BBA's Emma Tobin (109) and Grace McDonald (110). Grace Sherwood followed close behind with a 112.

Overall, Carknard was happy with how well the tournament came together.

"We had 32 kids overall playing, it shows there's interest in the game," Carknard said. "I want to thank [MACC owners] David and Maru [Griffin-Leon] for hosting and supporting junior golf."


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