The Erskine Academy golf team showed off its mental toughness, as well as its physical ability, this past week.

After losing a home match to Oceanside by two strokes earlier in the week, the Eagles were back on the front nine of the Natanis Golf Course’s Arrowhead course on Thursday, beating a strong Cony team by seven strokes, 157-164, and winning four of the six matches over the Rams.

“That was a tough loss to Oceanside. We lost by two strokes on our course, and I think it got to the kids,” Erskine coach Mike Soule said.

Erskine’s top four golfers, Shawn Soucie, Ashley Chubbock, Josh Bailey and Luke Atchison, each rebounded from the loss to play well against the Rams.

“Against Cony, we knew we had to have four or five kids play as well as they could, and they did,” Soule said.

Bailey shot a 37 to earn co-medalist honors with Cony’s Zach Gagne. For the season, Soucie is averaging a score of 39, and Chubbock shot a 39 on Friday. Atchison shot a 40 against Cony to win his match.

“If we have those four shooting around or under 40, we’re in good shape,” Soule said. “It’s mostly a mental thing. We’ve good some good upperclassmen leadership. They can really think their way around the golf course. They know how to play a match.”

Erskine hosts Messalonskee at Natanis today.

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Maranacook expected to be one of the top teams in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B this season, but the team’s consistency has been a pleasant surprise to coach Ryan Meserve.

“It seems like every single match, somebody is stepping up,” Meserve said.

On Thursday, the Black Bears beat Waterville, 6-0, at the Waterville Country Club to improve to 4-0. Maranacook’s top player, Luke Ruffing, shot a one-under par 35 to earn medalist honors, and the rest of the team played well, too. The Black Bears won the match, 168-230.

Maranacook has a pair of big matches this week, both at the Augusta Country Club. The Black Bears host Winslow today and host Maine Central Institute on Thursday. The match against MCI will feature two of the top golfers in central Maine playing against each other, Ruffing and the Huskies’ Gavin Dugas.

“Winslow is always tough,” Meserve said. “MCI is playing very well. I’m looking forward to that match.”

• • •

Madison lost Seth Sweet, one of the top young golfers in the state, to graduation, but the Bulldogs’ young talent is playing well, and coach Heath Cowan said his team is gearing up to make a run at the Mountain Valley Conference playoffs.

“We want to get into the top four in the MVC,” Cowan said. “We’re actually competing pretty well. You never know until you get out there in the fall. A lot of them don’t play much summer golf. I’m very pleased with how we’re playing.”

Making the conference playoffs is important, Cowan said, because that gives the team at least one practice round at Natanis, which also serves as the state championship course.

While Madison doesn’t have any players who will consistently play under par, like Sweet could, Cowan feels he has a deep team, with a number of players who can shoot between 40 and 45 in any given match. Aside from senior Levi Richardson, the team is full of underclassmen.

“Most of them are sophomores, so they’ll be back for a few years,” Cowan said.

Newcomer K.P. Carpenter has played well of late and Ty Cowan, son of the coach, has been tested in almost every match. Ty has had six matches go extra holes, and he’s 5-1 in those tight matches.

The Bulldogs play at Oakdale in Rumford on Tuesday against Mountain Valley and Dirigo, and have big matches coming up against Winthrop and Wiscasset.

“If we can finish well down the stretch, we can get into the second or third spot (in the MVC standings),” Cowan said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242
[email protected]

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