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Week of April 8: Centaurs open with victory over Ellis Tech

Woodstock Academy coach Rich Garceau admitted to one emotion prior to the Woodstock Academy boys golf team taking to the course Monday against Ellis Tech for its first match of the season.

“I was nervous,” Garceau said with a laugh. “We were finally getting on a course and really hadn’t practiced on one as yet.”

There was a little familiarity, fortunately, as the match took place at a very friendly venue, Harrisville Golf Course.

Interestingly enough, the course is in Woodstock but it is Ellis Tech’s home course, not Woodstock Academy’s.

The Centaurs are based at Quinnatisset Country Club in Thompson which is scheduled to open this weekend.

“I’m really getting nervous about next week when we start going to Quinny because a lot of my guys don’t know that course. Fortunately, (Monday) finally felt like spring. It was gorgeous. The weather was perfect, the sun disappeared for a while, but we played OK,” Garceau said.

The Centaurs posted the 177-181 victory on what was better known as “Eclipse Day.”

The event happening while the players were on the course, thus the sun dimmed and the air got a little cooler for a bit.

Plus, it was a bit of a distraction.

“It was a little surreal. It didn’t get super-dark but the sun did dim a bit, enough to be noticeable and you look around and all the kids had their eclipse glasses on staring at the sky. That looked a little weird on the golf course. I did tell the kids, I had no problem with them doing that, just remember the purpose that we were there for and stay focused. It was fun, actually, playing with the sun disappearing,” Garceau said.

At the time, the Centaurs weren’t playing all that well.

“After the sun did it’s show, we started playing a lot better. We started off rough, had to knock the rust off, but after the sun show was over, we got better. Maybe it was a bigger distraction than I thought,” he added.

Junior Logan Rawson was the team’s medalist as he carded a 40.

Senior Donny Sousa finished with a 41.

Senior Nick Siverson was the only other upperclassman on the course and he finished with a 52.

Freshmen Max Kopp (46) and Brady Hebert (50) were the other varsity players.

“They were freshmen and the nerves showed. It was at Harrisville in a non-league event and I thought it was the perfect time for them to cut their teeth a bit. They did pretty well,” Garceau said.

Hebert played in the second slot so he could be teamed with a hockey buddy of his, Sousa.

“Since we were playing total score, it didn’t matter who was number  one or two or three and since Brady had played a lot of hockey with Donny and got along pretty well, I thought the comfort level of having a freshman play with an experienced senior that he knew well might bode well for him,” the Woodstock Academy coach said. “I also put Max and Logan together for the same reason.”

Jarrett Towne was the medalist in the match as he posted a 37 for the Eagles while Jacob Stone shot a 41.

The Centaurs are now off for spring break.

They will be back on the course on April 22 for a home match versus Tourtellotte.

“We will have a couple of practice rounds, hopefully, here at Quinnatisset next week and a couple at (Woodstock Gollf Course) and then, we’re going to get thrown into the fire because we have three matches (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday) after vacation and then it gets pretty busy for the rest of the year,” Garceau said.