Wednesday, October 26, 2011
New England Roundup: Maine
By Gary Hawkins
Madison Memorial High School senior Seth Sweet has established himself as the top high school golfer in the state.
Sweet recently won his second straight Class C state individudal title, shooting a 2-under par 70, the lowest in any class. Last summer he was one of two Maine golfers to qualify for the U.S. Junior Amateur. He also finished fourth in the Maine Amateur last year and, when he was 12, he was the youngest qualifier ever for that tournament. He recently answered questions about himself and the game he loves.
Q: How did you get started in golf?
A: "My dad introduced me into the game when I was 2 years old. He brought me out to a little par three course with a plastic set of Little Tikes golf clubs. I didn’t play that often but he brought me to the golf course just enough so I could really get a liking for this game. After a while I knew there was something about this game that was special and I knew it would be able to take me places."
Q: When did you first get hooked on the game?
A: "I first became serious around the age of 10. I played my first tournament when I was 7 but did not realize what it took to really become an elite golfer. I started playing several tournaments when I turned 10, and began to practice a lot harder. I tried to take my game to the next level and set different levels of goals that I needed to achieve."
Q: Who have been your greatest influences in the game?
A: "My dad has definitely been the biggest influence in my game. He taught me everything I needed to know to become who I am today. He made it so I could play in every tournament I wanted to play in, and would do everything for me. My mother has also been there supporting me and always telling me that if I want it I can get it. She is always there to watch me play tournaments, and I couldn’t do it without them. My brother Zack also has been there to push me as he is a good golfer and always taught me how to act, as well as made me the best I could ever be. My swing coach has also been able to bring me to the tip top in my game and has taught me how to play this game like the pros.
Q: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment to date?
A: "I believe my greatest accomplishment has been making the U.S. Junior Amateur in Bremerton, Washington where I played two great days to make a playoff to make the cut for match play. Unfortunately, I missed the playoff, but was the proudest to place 55th best junior in the nation. I may not have met my goal, but was very pleased with how I played."
Q: How often do you play and practice?
A: "I play every day and practice every day. In order to be the best you have to have the club in your hand acting like it is your lifeline."
Q: What do you work on?
A: "Lately I work on the short game because I am able to hit the ball on the green, but where I am going to save strokes is making the putts for birdies. I will also work on hitting the ball in different shapes, I usually hit a draw but I understand that I need to be able to hit the cut to be one of the best as well. I believe that short game is where the pros make it look easy and win the tournaments."
Q: Where will you attend school next year?
A: "I have recently just verbally committed to Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia."
Q: How did this come about?
A: "I had a friend from Rhode Island who is a freshman there and had told the coach about me. He must have put in a good word for me because the next week I got a call from the coach and it eventually led to an official visit offer. I visited the campus and fell in love with it and
fell in love with the golf facilities this school has to offer."
Q: What are your short and long-term goals in the game?
A: "My short term goal for golf is to really become a better player and win my state amateur, and qualify for the U.S. Junior Amateur again. My long term goals are to become a golf professional and play on the PGA tour, I do realize this will be a tough task but I am ready to make a run for it. I also want to be in a scoring spot all four years in college and be a key asset in our successful team.
Q: What are your strengths and weaknesses?
A: "My strengths are definitely being able to drive the ball, chip the ball and putt the ball. I hit the ball about 290 yards down the middle and my short game has grown incredibly and improved greatly. I also am able to keep a great state of mind while playing golf which is to my advantage. I believe my weakness is paying too much attention to other people, I shouldn’t watch my competitors, but I do and get caught up in their game a little too much."
Q: Who is your favorite pro golfer and why?
A: "My favorite player used to be Tiger Woods because I idolized his work ethic, he won his tournaments by out-working his competitors and there was no question that he did every week. I also loved watching how he worked on the golf course he made himself expect the best of the competitors so he would not be surprised when they hit a good shot. My new favorite player is Bubba Watson, I enjoy how he hits the ball so long and is changing the game with his stride in great length. I also like how he has fun while he is playing and is very personable while he is playing. It is truly an awesome thing for him to be able to enjoy the game the way he does."
Q: What other activities or sports do you enjoy?
A: "I enjoy playing basketball with a passion; it is a very fun game for me and keeps me in shape during my long winter up in Maine. I enjoy running, and weight lifting as it keeps me in shape and I enjoy doing that every day."
Q: What are your plans for the summer before college?
A: "I plan on playing in 5-10 golf tournaments and practice my short game and the little details golf demands you to do. I am going to play in the big tournaments in the state and going to qualify for some USGA events. I just want to keep my competitive edge and make my game in fine tune for the fall college season."
FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS UNDER WAY Playoffs get under way this week in every class but Eastern Maine Class A which has a week remaining in the regular season. Defending Class A champion Cheverus is working on a 20-game win streak while Yarmouth, the defending Class C champ, is also unbeaten and has drawn a top seed.
Leavitt in Class B East, Lawrence in Class A East and Bucksport in Class C East are the only other unbeaten teams in the state. Here’s a look at
this week’s matchups.
WESTERN CLASS A
Saturday, Oct. 29
No. 5 Deering (5-3) at No. 4Bonny Eagle (5-3), 1 p.m.
No. 6 Sanford (5-3) at No. 3South Portland (6-2), 1 p.m.
No. 8 Scarborough (3-5) at No. 1 Cheverus (8-0), 12:30 p.m.
No. 7 Windham (4-4) at No. 2 Thornton Academy (7-1), 1 p.m.
WESTERN CLASS B Quarterfinals
Friday, Oct. 28
No. 5 Westbrook (4-4) at No. 4 Falmouth (6-2), 7 p.m.
No. 6 Greely (5-3) at No. 3 Cape Elizabeth (6-2), 7:30 p.m.
No. 8 York (3-5) at No. 1 Wells (8-0), 7 p.m.
No. 7 Spruce Mountain (4-4) at No. 2 Mountain Valley (7-1), 7 p.m.
WESTERN CLASS C Quarterfinals
Friday, Oct. 28
No. 6 Freeport (5-3) at No. 3 Maranacook (7-1), 7 p.m.
No. 8 Oak Hill (3-5) at No. 1 Yarmouth (8-0), 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 29
No. 5 Winslow (6-2) at No. 4 Lisbon (6-2), 1 p.m.
No. 7 Dirigo (4-4) at No. 2 Traip Academy (6-2). 1:30 p.m.
EASTERN CLASS B
Friday, Oct. 28
No. 6 Waterville (4-4) at No. 3 Gardiner (6-2), 7 p.m.
No. 8 Morse (4-4) at No. 1 Leavitt (8-0), 7 p.m.
No. 5 Hampden Academy (5-3) at No. 4 Brewer (6-2), 7 p.m.
No. 7 MDI (5-3) at No. 2 Mt. Blue (7-1), 7 p.m.
EASTERN CLASS C Quarterfinals
Friday, Oct. 28
No. 7 MCI (4-4) at No. 2 Orono (7-1) , 7 p.m.
No. 6 Stearns (4-4) at No. 3 John Bapst (6-2), 7 p.m.
No. 8 Mattanawcook Academy (3-5) at No. 1 Bucksport (8-0), 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 29
No. 5 Foxcroft Academy (5-3) at No. 4 Mt. View (6-2), 1 p.m.
FOOTBALL TOP 10 1. Cheverus (8-0), For the first time this season the Stags were tested in beating cross-town rival Deering 14-0. It was the 20th straight win
for the defending Class A state champs.
2. Lawrence (8-0), The Bulldogs were likewise tested in beating a good Brunswick team 10-7. So far, they’ve held opponents to 88 points while scoring 221.
3. Leavitt (8-0), The Hornets clinched their fourth straight Pine Tree Conference title with a 41-6 rout of Gardiner. It was their 30th
regular-season win in a row.
4. Thornton (7-1), The Trojans beat long-time rival Biddeford 34-0 to gain the No. 2 seed in this week’s playoffs.
5. Bonny Eagle (5-3), After an 0-3 start, the Scots have ripped off five straight, including last week’s 47-7 win against Windham.
6. Wells (8-0), The Warriors sneaked past York 26-21 in their closest game of the year. They’ve allowed only 59 points so far.
7. South Portland (6-2), The Red Riots won the “Battle of the Bridge, beating Portland 20-7.
8. Brunswick (6-2), The Dragons two losses are by a total of four points, including last week’s 10-7 loss to Lawrence.
9. Messalonskee (6-2), the Eagles are back in the top 10 after their surprising 39-20 win against Bangor last week.
10. Mt. Blue (7-1), The Cougars routed Waterville 55-14 and are itching for another shot against Leavitt in the playoffs.
Sanford’s Alex Shain rushed for 189 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-7 win over Massabesic.
Dirigo senior Ben Holmes passed for a touchdown, rushed for a TD and returned an interception for another score. He also went 6-for-6 on conversion kicks.
Bonny Eagle quarterback Tyson Goodale passed for 199 yards and four touchdowns and also rushed for 133 yards in a 47-7 win against Windham.
Messalonskee sophomore Corey McKenzie rushed for 104 yards and three touchdowns and also caught three passes for 130 yards and a score in a 39-30 win over Bangor.
Mt. Blue quarterback Jordan Whitney went 10-for-18 passing for 160 yards and four touchdowns in a win against Waterville.
Lewiston senior Jeff Turcotte rushed for five touchdowns in a 62-49 win against Cony.
Cony junior Brandon St. Michel for 344 yards of total offense and scored five touchdowns in a 62-49 loss to Lewiston.
RUDY AWARD NOMINEES Three Maine high school football players have been nominated for the annual Rudy Awards which grant $25,000 scholarships throughout the United States.
Players are nominated for their ability to inspire teammates and members of their school, family and communities. The program honors former Notre Dame football player Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, the inspirational subject of the classic film Rudy.
The nominees are Mountain Valley’s Ryan Glover and Scarborough teammates Logan Mars and Harry Milner. Nationwide, approximately 1,00 players are nominated. The 50 semifinalists will be announced Nov. 12 while the 12 scholarship winners will be announced Dec. 11.
GOLF CHAMPIONS CROWNED Individual golf championship were decided last week at Natanis Golf Course. Deering’s Joe Walp and Sanford’s Ben Bell shared the Class A
championship after shooting 75s. Lincoln Academy’s Malcolm Oliver shot 73 to win the Class B title while Madison’s Seth Sweet repeated as Class C champ with a two-under par 70. Fort Kent sophomore Ali Prescott shot 87 to repeat as schoolgirl champ. Winthrop freshman Taylor Morang scored a hole-in-one.
FIELD HOCKEY State field hockey championships will be decided Saturday at Yarmouth High School. In Class A, defending state champion Skowhegan will represent the East against West champion Marshwood. at Yarmouth High School. In class B, East champ Belfast squares off against West champion York. And in Class C, defending state champion North Yarmouth Academy will represent the West while Winthrop is the East champ.
CROSS COUNTRY Cross country state and individual championships in three classes will be decided Saturday at Twin Brook Recreation Area in Cumberland.
Defending Class A State and New England champion Abbey Leonardi of Kennebunk is a heavy favorite as is two-time defending Class C boys' champ Matt McClintock of Madison.
SOCCER Soccer playoffs are under way with semifinal rounds scheduled for this weekend.