VASSALBORO – So, here was Mt. Ararat hoping to repeat as state golf champions. And there was Eagles standout Caleb Manuel three-putting his first hole for bogey.

“Obviously, I struggled a little bit,” Manuel said. “But the guys pulled it out.”

Indeed, Mt. Ararat won its second straight Class A team championship in a close one at the Natanis Golf Course.

The Eagles scored 325, nudging ahead of Greely and Falmouth (both at 327). Greely won the tiebreaker for second place.

In Class B, York also was a repeat winner, scoring 342, ahead of second-place Freeport (352), and Leavitt (362) in third. Fourth-place Cape Elizabeth was close behind at 366.

Kents Hill won in Class C, in the Huskies’ first appearance in the tournament. Kents Hill scored 332, 10 ahead of second-place Orono (342). St. Dominic (362) placed third. The Class C competition was held on Natanis’ Arrowhead course. The Eagles’ Mitch Tarrio, an Augusta native, had the best score of the Class C golfers, with a 2-under 70.

The A and B classes played on the Tomahawk course. Thornton Academy’s Armand Ouellette put up the best score there, with a 1-over 73. Manuel was next-best at 75.

Manuel, who will defend his individual championship next week on this course, could shrug his shoulder at his 75. Last week, he set the course record here, at 63.

“I didn’t expect a 63 today,” Mt. Ararat coach Gerry Caron said, “but anybody else who shot his round would be happy as can be.”

Manuel is a senior, headed to the University of Connecticut next year. This season, he was the key to the Eagles’ rebuilding, after they lost three vital seniors from last year’s title team.

“We took that as a challenge,” Manuel said. “I’m so proud of these guys. They’ve been working since the snow melted last spring. It was a big team win.”

Freshman Parker Bate came in with a 78, followed by Eli Schoenberg (85) Ty Henke (87). Manuel recovered from his double bogey. “I just kind of made seven pars in a row. I couldn’t get anything going. But the score was good enough.”

The Eagles needed everything, with Greely and Falmouth on their heels.

“It was close. The kids did a great job,” Greely coach Brian Bickford said. “In our division, we finished third and, then, today, finishing second in the state. I can’t complain.”

D.J. Kenny led the Rangers with a 78, followed by Andrew Klein (79), and Dawson Jowett and Connor Albert (both 85). No. 6 golfer Nick Montminy shot an 86, which was the tiebreaker Greely needed for second place.

Falmouth was led by Tyler Baker (79). Thornton (329) finished fourth. Messalonskee (333), behind Bradley Condon’s 76, finished fifth.

In Class C, Kents Hill, a prep school, was playing in its first team tournament. The Huskies have always played in their New England prep school league, but decided to also enter the Maine tournament this year.

“Someone introduced the idea to us,” Tarrio said. “We think we knew we had a pretty good chance.”

Kents Hill was led by three players — Tarrio, T.J. Folsom (83) and Cam Knowles (84). Three of the Huskies who play in the prep league are post-graduate students, and not eligible for the high school tournament. So Kents Hill called up three players from the junior varsity. One of them, Brad Maki, shot a 95 to secure the victory.

Meanwhile, Tarrio was recovering from a double-bogey on his second hole – “errant drive” – and began stringing together birdies, including an 8-foot putt after an 185-yard drive with his 7-iron on the par-3 fifth hole.

With six golfers still on the course, Kents Hill had it wrapped up. St. Dominic appeared headed for a second-straight runners-up trophy. But Orono junior Franc Flower was one of those final golfers and his 76 moved the Red Riots into second place. St. Dom’s was led by Neil LaRochelle’s 82, to finish ahead of North Yarmouth Academy and defending champion Houlton (both with 365).

“I think we expected a little more,” St. Dom’s coach Chris Whitney said. “But we’re young. We’ll be back.”

In Class B, York’s Tyler Rivers (76) was the only individual to break 80.

“I played OK. Not many good holes, but enough,” Rivers said. “We knew it would be close.”

Rivers was followed by Jonathan Donovan (82), Colin Butters (91) and Greg Goldberg 93).

Freeport, led by T.J. Whelan’s 81, stayed close, as did Leavitt, who was paced by Rudy Haylock’s 81.

“We’re a young team so we’re happy with third place,” Leavitt coach Harry Haylock said.

Comments are not available on this story.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.