caption, page 2:
Left to right: Kuan Fei Chen (NFA) who finished second; Caroline Petchark (Waterford), the winner of the ECC championship; Kailey LaChappelle (Woodstock Academy) and Liz Crandall (Stonington) who tied for third. Photo courtesy of Marc Allard.

Girls' golf
team gets 2nd
The Woodstock Academy girls’ golf team was close.
But for the first time in four years, the Centaurs had to settle for second place in the Eastern Connecticut Conference tournament May 29 at the Quinnatisset Country Club in Thompson.
The Centaurs finished with a 197 total, just five strokes behind the winner, Waterford.
The Lancers total was the best by a team in the eight years of the tournament.
“Waterford played great. It’s No. 1 (Caroline Petchark) is fantastic,” said Centaurs senior Caroline Eaton.
Petchark won the individual title with a 38. It was just one stroke off the individual record set last season by The Academy’s Roxanne Garceau who shot a 37.
It capped off the season for a young Centaurs team but also displayed promise for the future.
Three of the five players who participated on the team were underclassmen including freshman Kailey LaChappelle who led the way with a nine-over-par, 45. It tied her for third place with Stonington’s Liz Crandall.
It was the season-best in a match for LaChappelle and continued her progress.
She had shot 45 in her last three practices prior to the ECC tournament and coach Earl Semmelrock has noted some good things happening in matches as well.
“For the last six matches and the last half of the season, she just hasn’t made big numbers. She may not make a lot of pars, but nine bogeys on this course is 45,” Semmelrock said.
LaChappelle went into the final hole which, for her, was the par-3, third hole at Quinnatisset, with a 40.
The red tees take the water, for the most part, out of play, but LaChappelle struck her pitching wedge well.
Maybe a bit too well.
She put it over the green and into the water and had to settle for a double bogey.
“I knew if I had made par, I would have had a 43. My goal was low 40’s,” LaChappelle said. “It was one bad shot and it went over.”
LaChappelle had one par to offset the double bogey.
She said the key to her success was her success off the tee.
Eaton finished with a 50 as did Linda St. Laurent. Caitlin Cannon shot a 52 and Avery Jones a 54.
Teams were only allowed to have five golfers compete so Katherine Harrington went out as an individual and finished with a 50 for the Centaurs.
“I knew it would be close with (Waterford). We lost to them by two shots (at Quinnatisset) during the regular season and the way we have been practicing for the last week, I had a goal of 190. We didn’t quite get there,” Semmelrock said. “It’s easy to give up a few shots here and there. I will talk to the girls and debrief and they will all have five or six shots that they could have saved somewhere along the way. I’m sure they won’t be too upset with it. I’m really proud with how they played, we kept it under 200.”
LaChappelle agreed.
“There were a lot of lost strokes out there that could have been found by all of us, especially me,” LaChappelle said.
Semmelrock is looking for big things from the young player.
“She wants to take the game seriously. Her Dad and her play together all the time. She will have a membership this summer and a job at (Quinnatisset) so it wouldn’t surprise me if she comes back and is the next best player in the conference,” Semmelrock said.
Overall, Semmelrock was happy with what the team accomplished this season. It finished with a 10-7 record and was second in the regular season, the Wildcat Invitational and the ECC tournament to Waterford.
“I said it all year that we were trying for consistency with a group of girls that hasn’t had that much experience – that’s a hard thing to get. As long as they’re happy and they’re out there smiling,” said Semmelrock. “Ultimately our goal is to qualify for the state tournament someday. I think if this young group of kids gives us a little this summer and wants to get better, that’s achievable.”
The team will only lose two golfers, Eaton and Cannon, to graduation.
“Caitlin has been very consistent. She had a 52 (May 29) and her scores have all been between 50-55 the last three-quarters of the season which was good after a poor start. Caroline struggled a little in certain parts of her game but she was our leader and team captain and put a good effort out there and the kids looked up to her,” Semmelrock said.
For Eaton, last Tuesday was a little bittersweet.
It was her last scholastic match.
She said her last time out, “wasn’t great,” but the 50 could have been worse. She struggled on the first hole and last holes and held her own in between.
Eaton played golf at The Academy for three years after participating in track as a freshman. She grew to love the game with the help of her father who is an avid golfer.
“I overthink now. When I first started, it was easier to just go for it. I’ve definitely gotten better,” Eaton said.
As of now, she plans to attend UConn and will not be playing golf there.
“I’m excited. High school is wrapping up, I’m ready for the next step, but I’m definitely going to miss sports at The Academy,” Eaton said.
Eaton and LaChappelle were named Eastern Connecticut Conference All-Stars. Harrington was named the team’s scholar-athlete and Jones was chosen as the sportsmanship award recipient.
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director


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