Millionaires, Mount Everett's Rothvoss Punch Tickets for State Championships
FEEDING HILLS, Mass. -- Some would say late October is the off-season on Cape Cod.
For the Lenox golf team, it is the perfect time to make the trip.
Behind an 8-over-par 79 from Brendan Hayden, the Millionaires Monday finished second at the Western Massachusetts Division 3 Championships to earn a berth in next week's state meet in Harwich.
A year after placing third and missing the cut for states by three strokes at Waubeeka Golf Links, Lenox left no doubt about its spot on Tuesday, finishing 27 strokes ahead of third-place Monson.
"It's awesome," Hayden said. "We really have a young team this year. For the next three years, I think we're going to be able to battle it out. Hopefully within the next two years, we'll be able to get a Western Mass trophy."
Hayden, who finished sixth at last year's sectional, is one of five Lenox players who competed at Western Mass last year -- when the Millionaires were even younger.
Despite the youth on this year's roster, Lenox knew it was one of the teams to beat at Agawam Municipal on Monday, Hayden said.
"A little bit," he said when asked if the Millionaires felt like they had targets on their backs. "But our guys are always ready to play. We're a young team, but we're experienced at the same time."
Ware won the event with a team score of 330, seven ahead of the Millionaires. The sectional champs were paced by medalist John Soltys, who chipped in for a birdie on the par-3 18th to finish with a 2-over 73.
Mount Everett's Cooper Rothvoss will join Lenox on the trip east next Monday. Playing as an individual, Rothvoss finished with a 79 to tie for third place and earn a trip to states.
Three Berkshire County teams competed at Monday's sectional (three more head to the Country Club of Pittsfield on Tuesday to compete in the D2 Championships). Defending D3 champion Lee placed fifth behind a 91 from Dylan Ely and a 92 from Caleb Kollmer. McCann Tech finished in sixth place; Ryan Baran led the Hornets with a 93.
Rothvoss said a Sunday practice round helped him prepare for Monday's sectional.
"A lot of tough shots that I had to take yesterday -- that kind of set me up for better shots today," he said. "I knew where to go and where not to go."
Rothvoss began his day on No. 18 in the shotgun start and said he felt good right from the start. His day was highlighted by a birdie on the 353-yard, par-4 11th hole.
Backing up Hayden were Max Digrigoli, Max Shepardson and Ben Haddad, who each finished at 86 to score for Lenox. All Six Millionaires in the event finished in the 80s or better -- something no other team could say.
Hayden -- one group behind Rothvoss and teeing off on 17 -- overcame a rough start and finished strong to lead his team.
"I had back-to-back birdies on 14 and 15, but I got off to a shaky start," Hayden said. "I hit two balls that I thought were out of bounds. My first one kicked out, and I ended up with a bogey. I played pretty steady throughout the whole round from there."
Besides playing for a spot at states, the Millionaires carried a little extra motivation going into Monday's sectional.
"We did do this for Coach Sal," Hayden said of Lenox head coach Dick Salinetti. "He's in the hospital right now. He's fighting hard. We fought hard for him today. ... Hopefully, we'll be able to take a picture with him with the trophy soon."
1. Ware 330
2. Lenox 337 (Brendan Hayden 79, Max Digrigoli 86, Max Shepardson 86, Ben Haddad 86, Devan Patel 87, Cliff Flynn 89)
3. Monson 364
4. Franklin Tech 368
5. Lee 381 (Dylan Ely 91, Caleb Kollmer 92, Cam Redstone 99, Adam Dingman 99, Dylan Boomsma 100, Colin Durken 106)
6. McCann Tech 391 (Ryan Baran 93, Chris Rose 99, Sam Ingalls 99, Dylynn Hardee 100, Dalton Tatro 102, Nash Morin 112)
7. Westfield Tech 407
1. John Soltys (Ware) 73; 2. Mason Dumas (Monson), 75; 3. Brendan Hayden (Lenox) 79; 3. Cooper Rothvoss (Mount Everett) 79; 4. Daniel Cavanaugh (Smith Academy), 80.