By Jim Sullivan Correspondent
Newburyport Daily News
---- — The Triton golf team is entering uncharted waters in the history of the program.
The Viking top six have had some sweet success over the past two Mondays. Two weeks ago, they won the River Rival Tournament. Last Monday, they took the Division 3 State Sectional Championship, beating out 18 other teams with a score of 300. Arlington Catholic was second at 311, and Weston third with 315.
Now the Vikes are headed to the Division 3 State Finals in Devens Monday to play against AC and Weston for the first time in the program’s history.
“We’ve had individual successes over the years,” says Dube. “This is my seventh year coaching now, we’ve been to the state tournament every year. We’ve had individuals advance. But never has there been a team that has advanced. These guys have left their mark on the Triton golf history as the first team to do that.”
On the individual side Monday, while Newburyport had the first-place finisher in Brendan Crowther (1-over par, 70 ), Triton placed the second, third, fourth and fifth finishers with Jon Seward (73), Kyle Hillick (74), Mike Shea (76) and Jack Cook (77). Those four will also be playing for the individual state title next week.
Adding to Triton’s accomplishment is the fact that these Vikings are a young team with their top six consisting of three sophomores (Seward, Shea and Cook) and a junior (Kyle Hillick) plus seniors Zack D’Agostino and Ryan Perilli.
“It’s pretty impressive to have a young group of kids just coming on and playing golf like nothing happened,” says D’Agostino. “Every day they come and play. You’ve got to teach them nothing. They just know what to do.”
Shea believes that it is the team’s youth that may have actually graced them with an X-factor along the way.
“A lot of us are young,” admits Shea. “It’s almost like a loss comes and we think we can go nowhere but up because we’re so young. After winning the (sectionals), the chances we have are endless because we’re all young. We have so much accomplished this year, it can only go up.”
Shea may be confident in his squad, but he’s not living in a fantasy land.
“Just because we did it this year, we can’t expect to do it next year,” says Shea, “But I’ll expect it. We have the talent to do it. But we’re not looking at next year right now. We’re looking to Monday.”
Triton’s youngest co-captain, Seward, sees this moment in his team’s history as a terrific achievement in and of itself.
“It’s a great accomplishment,” Seward says of being the first Triton team to go to the finals. “It’s a great feeling to win the D3 championship. We all played great that day, and the outcome is what we wanted.”
Monday will bring D’Agostino and Perilli’s final match representing their school, and they both understand its importance in Triton’s history.
“I wasn’t even expecting this,” says D’Agostino. “It’s pretty amazing. It’s my senior year, it’s my last year, so it’s good to have something for (our) history. It will always be in the memory of Triton history. The top six names, they will always be there. It’s just an amazing situation.”
Practicing with his team on the greens of Ould Newbury Golf Course, Dube is filled with pride.
“We’re blessed to have a great group of kids that like playing golf,” says the coach. “But more importantly, they’re doing the right thing out here on the course, in the classroom, doing all that kind of stuff that makes it a joy for me to be involved with them. They’re excited to go on Monday with a chance to take it to the next level. Because you don’t often have a chance to do these kind of things and trying to make some good memories for themselves.”