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Fine season for boys golf squad; Liucci earns All-State honors

CANTON, June 11 – When the season began, the Canton High boys golf team was lacking in experience. Senior captain David Roux was the only starter with any playing time at the varsity level.

But the Warriors had a fine season, finishing above .500 and qualifying for the CIAC Division IV tournament for the fourth straight year, finishing tied for tenth. On of the highlights of the season was a 178-185 non-league victory over Avon in May, handing the Falcons its first loss of the season after 14 straight wins. The Falcons finished 16-2.

“This team worked hard and they took it seriously,” Canton coach Bill Phelps said. “They practiced like they should, working on putting and chipping instead of worrying about how far they could drive the ball.”

Roux had a stellar campaign, earning medalist honors in six matches, earning a spot on the All-NCCC squad and coming close to earning All-State honors. Junior Mark Amaroso did well in the No. 2 spot while senior Mike Pepin was tremendously consistent at No. 3, scoring between 42 and 46 in all but one match. At No. 4 was senior Derek Soifer with seniors Chad Huff and Sam Crowe swapping time at No. 5. Canton finished 8-9 overall and 6-5 in the NCCC and that included a pair one-stroke losses to East Granby and Bolton.

“This was a special team,” Phelps said. “They really came together. For a team of (primarily) first-year golfers, they played well. They were a little more mature as far as being smart on the course. They kept playing the ball down the middle (of the fairway) which helped us tremendously.”

Amaroso will be the only starter returning next year. Nine of the top spots on the team this spring were taking by seniors.

GIRLS GOLF: Junior Nikki Liucci was the only Canton girl to qualify for the CIAC state tournament, shot a 91 to finish 12th and earned All-State honors. She is the first Canton girl to earn All-State honors in golf. Liucci also earned All-Southern Connecticut Girls Golf League (SCGGL) honors while senior teammate Megan Roux was named to the All-SCGGL second team.

With just one senior in the lineup, the Warriors went 8-14 overall and 6-6 in the SCGGL under coach John Manners. They finished fourth in the league tournament. Meghan Davis, Dana Nelson and Zoe Van Kirk each improved, breaking 60 at least once this season.

 

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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