DEDHAM — A strong start to the 2022 Mount Desert Island High School golf season, the first under head coach Bryan Maurais not impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, continued for the Trojans, who shot a combined 186 at the Lucerne Golf Club Aug. 30.
The round was good enough to defeat the Ellsworth High School Eagles (214) for the second time this season, but not quite enough to edge out a Class-A Brewer squad who shot a combined 177 on the day. The loss to Brewer has the Trojans at 5-1 on the season after three matches. But Maurais says the team isn’t focused on wins and losses during the month-long sprint of a regular season.
“We’re just looking to work on our championship ways and make sure we’re playing championship golf,” said Maurais, as he observed his squad on the course at Lucerne. “We’re off to a good start but we’re always looking to get better.”
The focus, as always, is on the qualifying tournament at the end of the season and the state championship after that. Last year, the team qualified for the state tournament with a Penobscot Valley Conference runner-up finish.
The team that achieved that success was a relatively young one, outside of Emily Carter, MDI’s lone senior and the PVC Girls’ Golfer of the Year. This year, coach Maurais has noted the difference in his squad now with more experience under their belt.
“I have a group of boys who are now juniors and I’ve noticed a considerable difference in their amount of focus and their demeanor on the course,” said Maurais. “I’m very impressed with them.”
Leading the way so far have been juniors Caden Braun and Kasch Warner. Braun was the medalist in their opening match against Ellsworth and Hermon, shooting a round-best 43 at Kebo Valley Golf Club in Bar Harbor.
Warner was the medalist in their next match, a defeat of Orono and Foxcroft at Penobscot Valley Country Club. He shot a 38 on the day, his best round as a Trojan so far.
During the match at Lucerne, Warner had the lowest score again. He opened his round with two consecutive birdies and ended the day with a score of 40.
“It’s really nice to get back to playing normal golf and playing different teams after COVID,” said Warner. “Overall, we have a very solid team this year … I’m feeling good about the team, feeling good about the season, feeling good about getting back to normal.”
“We’ve got a pretty deep team this year so plenty of opportunities for people to get involved with the sport,” said Braun. “We’re just looking to keep our heads up and focus on what we can do as a team and see if that works out for us.”
“Caden and Kasch have been leading the way for us on the course,” said Maurais. “Both are talented golfers but have made their biggest strides for us this year with their focus, leadership and maturity. I am proud of their growth on the course but more so off of it, and I am eager to see how far they can take us this season.”
The team will head to Hermon for a match Sept. 1, followed by a home match at Kebo Valley against Houlton and Hampden Sept. 6.