The Nipmuc golf team won its third consecutive Division 2 Central Mass. championship, with a senior-driven group leading the way for head coach Ryan Cody’s team.
“I like that term, dynasty,” Cody said when asked whether that’s what he’d consider the program. “They are an awesome group of kids, they are all athletes that just happen to love golf.”
Senior Kyle Downing shot a 77 to tie for third at the par-72 Blissful Meadows Golf Club and fellow seniors Colin Casamento, Cole Alibozek, and Sean Downing shot 78, 79, and 80 for the Warriors, respectively. The team total of 314 was six shots clear of second-place Bay Path and Grafton.
“I don’t know if I will ever have a group like this again,” Cody said. “They are a group that comes around once every 10 or 20 years.”
Cody credited the team’s dedication throughout the course of the season, as the senior routinely organized their own weekend golf excursions to stay sharp. An early-season loss to Hopedale also served as a needed wake up call, Cody said, and Nipmuc rattled off wins in 14 of the following 15 matches.
Alibozek posted some blistering scores in dual matches, including shooting back-to-back rounds of 32 and 33 at Shining Rock. Casamento was routinely between 38 and 41, Cody said, making him the team’s most consistent performer. Twin brothers Kyle and Sean Downing were also key cogs for the Warriors.
“Kyle has put in a lot of work, his long iron game has gotten better and his wedge game is very good,” Cody said. “Sean is the biggest golf fanatic we have. He’s very analytical and he has big demands for himself. He’s long off the tee and good around the greens, he has a bright future in golf.”
Fellow seniors J.P. Lucier and Conor Morford supplied depth for Nipmuc, and Cody said both players had a knack for delivering low scores when the team needed them the most.
The combination has landed Nipmuc’s six seniors back in this week’s state tournament in their final high school season on the links.
“They are all friends, they get along well,” Cody said, “but when they get out there they are very competitive. The camaraderie has helped them in their matches and when it comes down to it, they love to compete.”
This article appears in the Nov. 3 edition of the Upton/Mendon Town Crier.