“I’ve got seven players, that’s the biggest team I’ve had in years,” said Keegan. “We had our first team score in three years on Monday.”
Players on the team include veterans Tommy Marchionna, a senior, and sophomores Cole Cunningham and Willie Queenie. Joining the team for the first time are senior Brett Swanson, juniors Logan Park and Hayden Reed, and freshman Jake Ewart.
Keegan has reason to be optimistic. The team opened play for the season on Monday, finishing second at a meet at the Okemo Valley Golf Club in Ludlow. The team score of 230 was only two strokes behind Windsor. Leading the way for Twin Valley was Marchionna, who shot a 51 for the nine-hole meet. Also scoring were Queenie (56), Ewart (59), and Swanson (64).
“Monday’s match was unique,” said Keegan. “Brett’s a senior, and Jake’s a freshman, and they both played in their first varsity match.”
Keegan likes the team’s energy and enthusiasm, and their chances to earn a bid to the district state qualifying tournament later this month at the Brattleboro Country Club. Keegan is in his eighth year as a coach at Twin Valley, starting with the middle school team and then moving up to varsity. Marchionna, whom Keegan called the team leader, has been with him for five of those years, beginning in middle school.
This will be the final season for spring high school golf in Vermont. The Vermont Principals Association is moving golf to the fall beginning in September. Keegan sees some positives and some negatives to the move. “We’ll play more matches, and we won’t be starting our practices in the gym,” he said. “But on the other hand, I don’t know how many players I’ll get in the fall. Soccer is such a big draw here.”
Only time will tell whether or not the Wildcats field a team come September, but for now, Coach Keegan and the Twin Valley golfers will focus on what they can: hitting the ball straight, dropping their scores, and earning a team invite to the district meet at the end of the month. Keegan was also thankful to Mount Snow and the Hermitage Club for allowing the team to use their facilities, and to Donna and Ken Talbot for donating uniforms and sweatshirts to the team.
Twin Valley has matches slated for Tater Hill in Londonderry, Ekwanok Country Club in Manchester, and Woodstock Golf Course. They will have a home meet on Tuesday, May 23, at the Hermitage Club golf course in Wilmington.