Hoosac Valley Golfers Show Improvement at State Championships

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- The Hoosac Valley golf team went into Tuesday’s Division 2 State Championship game with relatively modest goals.
But there is nothing modest about what the Hurricanes have been able to accomplish the last two seasons.
Coming off a run of back-to-back league and Western Massachusetts championships, Hoosac Valley placed ninth out of 12 teams competing on Tuesday at Taconic Golf Club.
Winchester’s Trevor Lopez finished with an even-par round of 71 to take medalist honors and lead his team to a state title. Winchester finished with a team score of 313 to edge runner-up Concord-Carlilse by one stroke.
The individual runner-up was Liam Gill of Wayland, who carded a 72 playing as an individual.
The Berkshires’ lone individual in the field of 101 was Wahconah’s Dan Wilson, who finished with an 85.
Twelve teams teed off in the shotgun start.
Hoosac Valley, which finished 13th out of 13 teams a year ago in Marshfield, was determined not to suffer the same fate in its back yard.
“We just tried to do better than last year, and I think we did that,” Hoosac Valley coach Jay Sniezek said. “We beat three teams to come in ninth. I’ll take it. I’m happy.”
Sniezek said the Western Mass champs also accomplished another goal: enjoying the experience.
“I felt like all my guys enjoyed it,” he said. “They all improved since last year. They did better, and I think they’re happy with their scores today.”
Henry Sniezek led the Hurricanes with a 10-over 81. Corben Craig (84), Luc Trombley (89) and Justyn Cowell (94) rounded out the scoring for Hoosac Valley. Colby Rougeau (95) and Zach Swistak (106) also competed.
Henry Sniezek, a junior member at Taconic, teed off on the first hole in one of the lead groups.
He said his round turned around with a birdie on the 449-yard, par-4 11th hole.
“A 42 on the front an a 39 on the back,” said Sniezek, who tied for 34th. “The 39 on the back was pretty good. I settled down and figured out what to do. The front, my short game was a little off -- putting not great, chipping not great. But I’m happy with the day.
“I made a birdie on the 11th hole, and after that I had a lot of pars. … I hit a great tee shot [on 11], driver right down the middle. And then a 56-degree wedge to 12 feet and made a nice putt.”
For Hurricanes seniors Sniezek, Rougeau, Swistak and Trombley, Tuesday’s state final marked the final round of their decorated high school careers. Sniezek said that was on his mind as he finished on 18.
“It was upsetting,” he said. “I wish I had a lot more. But it was the last hole, and I just wanted to make it good -- get a par.”
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