BRUNSWICK — The weather wasn’t the best. The Mt. Ararat golf team, once again, was.

Showcasing both top-end talent and unbeatable depth, the Eagles rolled to the conference title at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A shootout at Brunswick Golf Club, firing a remarkable 1-under 147 to take the championship and the Class A state tournament berth that comes with it.

Lewiston (171) was second, followed by Messalonskee (175) and Brewer (198).

The Eagles won the shootout en route to the Class A state title last year. On Thursday, playing on their home course and shaking off the rain drops, they showed they may be even better.

“They had a great week of practice and worked real hard at it, and were really focused,” coach Gerry Caron said. “They came out today and showed how they could really play.”

The Eagles had it all working — great outings from the supporting cast in Ty Henke (37), Eli Schoenberg (38) and Parker Bate (39), and a blistering 4-under 33 from Caleb Manuel, the top player in the state.

“When you get four out of six players shooting in the 30s, that’s tough to beat for any team,” Caron said. “That’s what happened today. We don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. But they’re very capable of doing this.”

Lewiston got a 39 from Mason Beaudoin in the fifth spot, as well as a 42 from Parker Thibault, 44 from Ryan Pomerleau and 46 from Bryce Dufour, to edge Messalonskee. The Eagles were deep, the only team with all six players breaking 50, but didn’t get the sub-40 score necessary to pass the Blue Devils.

Dylan Cunningham shot 42 for Messalonskee, while Bradley Condon and Mitchell Grant shot 44 and James Smith shot 45.

“Having not played the course before, I think we played very well,” coach Jim Kerschner said. “Nobody’s shooting extremely low, and yet we’re all pretty consistent right straight across the board, which I think is going to help us going into the state qualifying. That’s what you need. You need consistency to get in.”

Consistency wasn’t going to be enough to upset Mt. Ararat on Thursday, not with the defending champions on their home course. And that task became tougher when Manuel, last year’s individual state champion, came out firing with birdies on three of the first five holes.

“I play out here enough where I know if I’m going to shoot a good round after the first three holes,” Manuel said. “There wasn’t a big miss today. Sometimes I’ll have a miss and I make a stupid bogey somewhere. Today I was just hitting fairways, hitting greens and then making putts I needed to.”

Manuel said being on the home course provided an extra comfort.

“I play probably 150 to 200 rounds here every year, and so do the guys,” he said. “It just feels like home.”

That may be why the scores coming in from the rest of the Eagles were excellent as well. Mt. Ararat lost its Nos. 2-4 golfers from last year’s title team, but that hasn’t slowed the team down this season, and it certainly didn’t Thursday afternoon.

“We’re coming back strong, and showing people we can do what we did last year,” said Schoenberg, who carded his 38 from the fourth spot. “I think we still had to prove stuff. Lewiston’s a good team, we only beat them by two the last time we played them. I think we were all just thinking ‘Let’s go out and play golf and show people what we can do.’ ”

It helps to have an automatic ace, but Manuel said he feels even less pressure knowing he has teammates that can support him if he is off his game.

“It’s a good feeling when I’m on the ninth tee, I’m 3 under … and coach comes over to tell me our 2 through 4 are right around par,” he said. “I know they’ve got my back and I’ve got their back too.”

Caron said Thursday’s showing wasn’t an anomaly from his group.

“These young men have just really stepped up and done an outstanding job, but they didn’t start now,” he said. “They’ve been playing golf all summer in competitive and state tournaments. When the weather’s bad, they’re still out here playing and working on their game.

“We had a very focused week. This was something we really wanted to achieve. To do it the way we did just sends kind of a message that we’re going to be ready to play.”

Messalonskee also got a 46 from Ben Hellen and a 48 from Sam Seekins.

“I didn’t really expect to beat Mt. Ararat, especially on their home course, but I think these kids did a nice job for not seeing the course,” Kerschner said. “We’ve always been focused on trying just to get better each time, which we’ve done.”

Brewer got a 44 from Ethan Delmonaco, a 48 from Josh Abbott and 53s from Josh Birch and Kolby Brooks.

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