Members of the Mount Desert Island golf team include (front from left) Caden Braun, Emily Carter and Kasch Warner; (back, from left) head coach Bryan Maurais, Shepperd Brown, Joey Wellman-Clouse and  Jameson Weir. Despite fielding a young team, MDI enjoyed a promising season in 2021. PHOTO COURTESY OF BRYAN MAURAIS

MDI golf enjoys strong 2021 season

BAR HARBOR — A more normal season in 2021 allowed a young Mount Desert Island golf team to flourish.

Although many fall sports were watered down if not outright torpedoed as the pre-vaccine pandemic gripped the country a year ago, golf experienced far less of a blow. The season was delayed and shortened, but regular season contests and postseason play were offered.

Still, restrictions in place at the time limited the scope of team interactions throughout the 2020 season. With limits on team get-togethers no longer in place and a full season beginning on time this year, though, the team camaraderie was, naturally, much stronger.

“It was nice to be back on a normal schedule and to be able to practice and travel a lot more,” MDI head coach Bryan Maurais said. “We had a pretty young team this year, so having those bonding experiences really helped.”

Though young, MDI enjoyed a 2021 season that bodes well for the program’s future. The team qualified for the state tournament with a Penobscot Valley Conference runner-up finish and enjoyed numerous individual successes along the way.

MDI claimed three outright meet wins this season as it defeated Bangor and Ellsworth on Sept. 7 and Sept. 16 and Ellsworth and John Bapst on Sept. 22. The Trojans were also runners-up three times, coming within two strokes of victory on two occasions and within five strokes on another.

Emily Carter, MDI’s lone senior and the PVC Girls’ Golfer of the Year, was the top scorer for the Trojans on four occasions. The senior was a medalist in MDI’s Aug. 31 meet against Bangor and Ellsworth and also led the way for the Trojans on Sept. 1 against Ellsworth and Hermon, Sept. 8 against Hermon and John Bapst and Sept. 27 in the PVC championships.

“I challenged Emily this spring to play a lot of competitive golf,” Maurais said of Carter, the Islander and Ellsworth American pick for Girls’ Golfer of the Year. “She did a lot of playing at Kebo, and she was also traveling to courses everywhere in Maine. When the season started, she wasn’t going to be fazed.”

Medaling twice for MDI was Shepperd Brown, whose top gross scores led the Trojans to victories in their Sept. 16 and Sept. 22 matches. Brown also finished best among all Hancock County players in the Oct. 8 Class B championships as he placed 17th with a score of 90.

Brown missed the first two matches of the year before making his season debut in MDI’s Sept. 1 competition. The sophomore was chosen to the All-PVC team and has also been chosen as the Islander/EA Boys’ Player of the Year.
“Shep is a remarkably talented golfer and an even more talented kid,” Maurais said. “He really battled this year and gave us everything he had. The way he played late in the year was crucial for us down the stretch this season.”

Warner, who was MDI’s joint-top finisher alongside Carter in the PVC championships and Caden Braun in the Aug. 26 season opener, finished as the Trojans’ top scorer in the Sept. 21 meet. He joined Carter and Brown to give MDI three All-PVC selections.

Braun was medalist for the Trojans on Sept. 7 as he shot a 39 to power MDI to its first win of the year. Other team members this season were Evan Beals, Carlina Leonardi, Nick Roos, Jameson Weir and Joey Wellman-Clouse.

Although the season has officially been over for a few weeks now, Maurais said MDI is already eyeing the 2022 season. After a team comprised primarily of sophomores left the state championship meet a bit starry-eyed, the Trojans will be aiming to end the year with a strong showing next season.

“We were a young team going in there, and the lights were just bright,” Maurais said. “You could see the motivation in their eyes afterward. We’ll come back next year with more experience and be ready for it.”

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected]

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