Hot Start, Strong Finish for Sniezek Help Hoosac Win Western Mass
LUDLOW, Mass. -- The life of a golf coach is a little bit different.
When Jay Sniezek watched Henry Sniezek walking up the fairway on his final hole at Monday’s Western Massachusetts Division 2 championship, the Hoosac Valley coach had an opinion about how to play No. 3 at Ludlow Country Club.
But this is golf, and there were no timeouts, no signals from the bench. All Jay Sniezek could do is watch.
“When I saw him coming up the last hole, and he was under the trees, I said, 'I hope you get to bogey. Just go for your bogey,’ ” Jay Sniezek said later. “He punched out, and I saw the next shot go in, and I was like, 'Oh, my God. That's unbelievable.' “
Henry finished with a birdie that gave him a 78 and medalist honors and helped Hoosac Valley to a convincing six-stroke win over runner-up Frontier at the sectional championships.
“I knew I needed a par to stay in the 70s, and I really wanted it,” Henry said. “I just tried to put a good three or four shots on, and I managed to get it in three.”
Henry Sniezek birdied his first hole of the day and last hole of the day en route to his 6-over round. Starting on the par-3 fourth hole, he hit a tee shot into a sand trap in front of the green and blasted out of the sand and into the cup to start his day in the red.
“It gave me confidence, especially because the first one was from the bunker,” he said of the fast start. “I was confident in my bunker shots and just all around.”
Sniezek finished just ahead of a pair of golfers tied for runner-up at 79: his Hoosac Valley teammate Derek Alibozek and Southwick’s Matthew Garrity, who was playing as an individual.
Garrity will join the Hurricanes at next Tuesday’s D2 State Championship at Marshfield Country Club, qualifying as an individual along with Mount Greylock’s Ben Gilooly, who tied for fourth place at 81.
Frontier and Valley, which was coming off a Berkshire County North Division title, were the only squads out of seven teams at the sectional to post six scores -- four go toward the team total -- in double digits. In addition to Sniezek and Alibozek, the Hurricanes scored rounds of 88 from Hayden Grimes and 96 from Corben Craig. Hoosac’s Colby Rougeau and Luc Trombley each finished at 99.
“Even all six of our guys can consistently shoot in the 40s,” Henry Sniezek said. “It's a good feeling having everyone else able to do well.”
His coach agreed.
“During the regular season, they knew that when one guy was a little off his game somebody else could step up and fill in,” Jay Sniezek said. “It's good to have that depth, whereas some other teams we play have one or two guys who are strong. When you have the depth, it really goes a long way toward wins.”
Mount Greylock won its share of dual matches in the regular season, too, including a one-stroke thriller over Hoosac Valley at Waubeeka Golf Links.
On Monday, seventh-grader Owen Petropulos (95), Brayden Smith (98) and Alexander Axt (104) backed up Gilooly’s 81.
“All around, I didn't feel like I played terribly, but I didn't play great,” Gilooly said. “Definitely, coming off the second-place finish [at Saturday’s Berkshire Classic], it didn't propel me but it certainly gave me a little more motivation to try to continue my season. I'm not upset with the score. I'm happy I made it to states, and I look forward to Tuesday at Marshfield.”
Mount Greylock coach Mitchell Spooner was looking forward to another week coaching Gilooly.
“Realistically, he had a great year and great career,” Spooner said of the Mounties senior. “As a coach, you don't get players like that often. It's good to have him around. And he left a lot with this team. It's been good to have him.”
LUDLOW, Mass. -- Team and individual scores from Monday's Western Massachusetts Division 2 Championships at Ludlow Country Club. Top two teams and top five individuals go to the state championship.
Team scores: 1. Hoosac Valley (341); 2. Frontier (347); 3. South Hadley (358); 4. Pope Francis (362); 5. Mount Greylock (378); 6. Hampshire Regional (397); Greenfield (398).
Henry Sneizek (Hoosac Valley)
Derek Alibozek (HV), Matthew Garrity (Southwick)
Michael Corduff (Frontier), Ben Gilooly (MG)
Max Cocchi (Pope Francis)
Kyle Maynard (F), William Scott (South Hadley)
Ryan Cote (Greenfield)
Hayden Grimes (HV)
Logan Waite (SH)
Kalen Evans (F), Jared Waite (SH)
Evan Boyle (Hampshire Regional)
Gunnar Moore (F)
Bryan Baumann (F), Hunter Roberts (G), Matthew Burke (PF)
Levi Zielinski (HR)
Owen Petropulos (MG), Jaelyn DeBoise (PF), Nicholas Cirone (SH)
Corben Craig (HV), Tyler Wilson (PF)
Rowen Blair (F), Brayden Smith (MG)
Ryan Egloff (HR), Luc Trombley (HV), Colby Rougeau (HV), Thomas Powers (PF)
Will Ortyl (SH)
Alexander Axt (MG)
Camden Baird (G)
Benjamin Prescott (MG)
Gabriel Larouche (G)
Thomas O'Neill (SH)
Jare Cote (G), Daniel Kelly (HR)
Nicholas Morton (HR)
Cayden Conry (MG)
Owen Lech (HR)
Daniel Provost (G)