Golf team
made it to
state tourney
It was a new experience for most.
Playing 18 holes on a golf course in one outing.
The Woodstock Academy girls’ golf team qualified for its first-ever Connecticut girls’ state championship tournament which was double the length of a normal high school girls’ match.
“They talked about sore feet on the ride home,” chuckled coach Earl Semmelrock. “It’s not just the feet, but it’s the mental part of the game where you have to keep your focus playing that long. You have nine more chances to have a bad hole. You have to be mentally strong through the whole process. It’s totally different. One of the girls said, ‘Nine holes is like a walk in the park compared to this.’”
Still, the Centaurs persevered.
They went in as the 19th-seeded team in the 20-team field.
Woodstock Academy came home from the Tashua Knolls Golf Club in Trumbull last week with a 16th-place finish.
“The (Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference) turned the bright lights on and the girls responded,” Semmelrock said. “After the butterflies went away after a few holes, everybody buckled down and did what they needed to do.”
The Centaurs finished with a 405 total as a team.
Junior Linda St. Laurent led the way with a 17-over par 89.
Woodstock Academy went down to Trumbull the day before the tournament, played seven holes and toured the other 11.
The Centaurs were on the course until dark.
“It was a big help so the girls had an idea of what to expect,” Semmelrock said. “Even though they didn’t get to play every hole, they saw what the course was like and got some familiarity with it. At least, they weren’t going in blind.”
Semmelrock admitted there were still some errors made where his players pulled the wrong club and ended up in a spot they would rather not be, like a creek they didn’t remember was there.
“All the Fairfield county teams probably get to play the course as part of their regular season. There is a benefit to that and it’s no mystery as to why they all did well,” Semmelrock said.
Sydney Nethercote of Greenwich was the medalist with a 2-under par 70 with New Canaan’s Meghan Mitchell second with a 76.
Waterford’s Caroline Petchark, the ECC individual titlist, finished in a tie for fourth at 6-over.
New Canaan won the team title with a 320 total while Greenwich placed second.
Semmelrock was pleased with St. Laurent’s performance.
“She’s learning how to become a golfer right before my eyes,” Semmelrock said. “She hit some quality shots.”
St. Laurent did get a birdie and thought her way around the golf course.
“That helps bring a score down and I was impressed. I would have been happy with anything under 100 and she kept it under 90. She was thrilled with her score,” Semmelrock said.
St. Laurent finished in a tie for 23rd.
Kailey LaChappelle tied for 60th and almost broke the century mark, finishing with a 100 on the nose.
Avery Jones tied for 77th with a 106 and Alex Vaida was the final score that counted for the Centaurs.
She finished 86th with a 110 total.
Senior Katherine Harrington had a tough day but was also consumed by senior activities at Woodstock Academy and that didn’t help her focus.
 “They were all excited about it. They all had a good time, positive attitudes, that’s all I could ask for,” Semmelrock said.
There was one other thing.
“All the girls whose scores counted will be coming back so the future is really bright for us,” the Woodstock Academy coach said.
Qualifying and playing in the state tournament has to be a confidence boost for the girls and could even have another positive effect – more might play in the offseason.
“Three or four of them are talking about getting a club membership this summer which will go a long way to encourage them to play. All of New Canaan’s team are club members somewhere. Their scores reflect that,” Semmelrock said.
Semmelrock has told the team he may or may not be back.
The team members want him to return and if they show the commitment to the game, Semmelrock will show commitment to them.
“It’s up to them, but I really think they will be focused and ultimately, I will be back. I’m making plans in that direction any way,” Semmelrock said.
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director
The Woodstock Academy


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