VASSALBORO — Winthrop golf coach Lonney Steeves told his team “don’t beat yourself up,” following the Ramblers loss to St. Dominic in the Class C state team championships Saturday at Natanis Golf Course.

When you lose by a stroke (329-330) as Winthrop did, it’s easy to do. A chip here, a putt here and the outcome may have been different. But the Ramblers improved their showing over last year by 21 strokes with the same lineup.

Junior Taylor Morang led the Ramblers with 2-under par 70, the lowest score of the day in any class. Anthony Owens shot 84, Adam Hachey 85 and Zach Steele 91 to round out the top four scores.

The Saints got a surprise performance out of their No. 5 player, freshman Justin Keaney, who shot 84.

“Best round of his life,” St. Dom’s coach Kevin Curran said. “He putted great today.”

Mike Richard shot 75 for the Saints while Mitch Lorenz and Andrew Marcous each shot 85. The win was the third straight for St. Dom’s and the fifth in seven years for the Saints, but this may have been the most unexpected.

“This is the first time I’ve cried in seven years,” Curran said. “I didn’t think we could win this year. Winthrop was so good, Wiscasset was so good. They both beat us this year.”

Camden Hills won the Class B title with a four-man score of 321, led by Daulton Wickenden’s 72. Cape Elizabeth and Maine Central Institute each shot 334, but the Capers earned second place by virtue of a lower score from their No. 5 player.

“Obviously we wanted to win,” MCI coach Paul Greco said.

Junior Gavin Dugas recorded the low score for MCI with 74 while freshmen Carter Pearl and Eric Dugas shot 80 and 85, respectively. Senior Dylan Watrous shot 95. The win was the first in 11 years and third overall for Camden Hills which didn’t face MCI during the regular season.

“Days like this the competitive atmosphere, changes kids’ approach,” Camden Hills coach Mark Wallace said. “We saw that across the board. MCI’s a great team, Cape Elizabeth’s a good team. Today it was all about maintaining and finishing 18 holes of golf.”

Also in Class B, Maranacook shot 351, led by senior Luke Ruffing who shot 71, the low score of the day on the Tomahawk course at 36-hole Natanis. Erskine also finished at 351 led by senior Luke Atchison’s 82. Oak Hill finished at 383, led by sophomore Connor Drouin who shot 88.

Falmouth won the Class A title, posting 316, the low score of the day. The Yachtsmen weren’t challenged during the regular season and coach Spike Herrick thought his team’s score would be even lower.

“This is the best team I’ve had by far,” said Herrick, who has coached seven state title teams.
All five of his golfers have qualified for next week’s individual championships and three shot in the 70s Saturday, led by Craig Smith with 77.

“We have three golf courses right in town,” Herrick said. “These kids play all the time.”

Bangor finished second led by Drew Powell who shot 73, the low Class A score of the day.

Skowhegan, making its first ever appearance in the team championships, finished in at tie for fifth at 331. Chase Nelson led the Indians with 78, Chase Whittemore shot 78, John Swett 83 and Chance Whittemore 91.

“We surpassed my expectations,” Skowhegan coach Dave Martin said. “It was a very good day. We played to our capabilities.”

For the first time, the Maine Principals’ Association presented sportsmanship award to team from East and West in each class. In Class A, the East award went to Cony and the West to South Portland. In Class B, Erskine won the East award and Yarmouth the West. In Class  C it was Houlton in the East and Buckfield in the West.

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638
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