BAR HARBOR — As head coach of one of the few junior varsity golf teams in eastern Maine this season, Bryan Maurais had to get creative.
Few teams around have the numbers required to field a JV golf team, something Mount Desert Island High School has been fortunate to do in recent years. That means fewer matches, which, in turn, means fewer chances for players to see how they’ve improved.
“When all you do is drills at practice, it’s tough on the kids,” Maurais said. “Practicing and drills are important, but at the end of the day, you want to be able to compete against somebody else.”
Such was the case for MDI, which played only two official matches in 2019. Yet Maurais also engaged his players in season-long contests and finished each week of practice with competitions that put that week’s lessons to the test.
“If we spent a week on putting, we would have a putting competition that Friday,” Maurais said. “It was the little things like that we would do to give the kids something to look forward to and see their improvements.”
The Trojans played Hampden Academy twice, once at Southwest Harbor’s Causeway Club and once at Hampden Country Club. The team held most of its practices at Kebo Valley Golf Club.
“We tried to add another match or two with Brewer, but it just didn’t work out for us in the end,” Maurais said. “As for our home match and practices, we can’t thank Kebo and Causeway enough in how accommodating they were to us. They’re great courses.”
Team members were Carlina Leonardi, Oakley Bench, Lily Swan, David Collier, Dylan Kane, Austin Wedge, Lucean Carter and Tristan Thompson. Each player, Maurais said, demonstrated a willingness to learn and be coached.
“I’m proud of all of them,” Maurais said. “JV golf is something a lot of schools aren’t fortunate enough to have, and we had a lot of kids from different schools and different golf backgrounds who meshed well and got along with each other. It was a really productive season.”