By Jim Sullivan Correspondent
Newburyport Daily News
---- — It’s the first week of October, and the Triton golf team has already punched its ticket to the state tournament.
A big part of that success for the 10-3 Vikings has been the play of their lead scorer and sophomore co-captain Jon Seward.
“He’s been our leading scorer in over half the matches, but that only tells a piece of it,” Vikings coach Rich Dube says of Seward. “He’s just a super kid. He gets it, he’s competitive, but he always does the right thing out there.”
To throw out a few scores, Seward scored 36 points against Manchester Essex, 34 against Lynnfield and 33 against Amesbury in the course of three matches last week. He also started his freshman year with back-to-back 32-point rounds against Newburyport and North Reading last season. But perhaps Seward’s most interesting stat is that, even as a mere sophomore, he has played in four state tournaments between golf and hockey.
“This is his third year playing for us,” says Dube. “He’s been in the varsity lineup ever since eighth grade. He was thought so much of by his peers that he was elected a captain in his sophomore year. That is the first time that has ever happened in my tenure, and Triton has had some good captains over the years as well.”
A three-sport athlete, Seward made the Triton varsity hockey team in his eighth grade year as well, going to the tournament twice. He also played in the postseason with Dube’s golf squad for the past two years, and will be making another appearance with them again later this month.
All this success might send a typical sophomore’s head spinning, but Seward has poise.
“I feel relieved because we’re already in the tournament, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop trying,” says Seward. “It was one of my goals this year, to get off to a good start and hopefully maintain that throughout the year. But more importantly, I want my teammates to do as well, to keep going and never stop.”
In fact, Seward, along with his co-captains, seniors Zach D’Agostino and Ryan Perilli, has made the focus of this season keeping the team positive and it has paid off.
“Me, Zach and Ryan always encourage them to do better,” Seward says of his team. “Giving them tips on the course and hopefully that pays off during the matches. Everybody has improved since the beginning of the season. It’s really nice to see.”
Seward was introduced to golf by his father, Craig, who would hit balls with the 8-year-old out in the back yard. Once he got the hang of it, the younger Seward and his friends Mike Shea and Jake Aponas started playing nine holes.
“We were all pretty good at a young age,” Seward says. “And we just kept improving through the years.”
The three friends still play together and will be hitting the ice for the Vikes hockey squad in December. But for now, Seward and his team have a tournament to look forward to.
“I want to bring my best efforts and I think my teammates do as well,” Seward says of the near future. “We just want to keep getting better every day and take it on a good note going into the state tournament.”
Dube says that he looks forward to the state tournament, and is gunning for the Cape Ann League title as well, but Masconomet (9-1) is still out there.
“We just want to keep competing in every match, and hopefully, in the state tournament, we can get some good scores,” Dube says. “We’ve been close in the state tournament to qualify for the finals. But this year, we hope to be able to be competitive there as well. (The captains) are doing a great job. Jon and the senior captains are really keeping the kids focused and keeping our eye on that goal here.”