Maranacoook’s Wyatt Folsom follows through on a shot during the Class C state championship tournament on Oct. 8, 2022 at Natanis Golf Course. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

VASSALBORO — While the fall season is just heating up for many sports, there’s one in which the end is already on the horizon.

That’s right, the first qualifiers are barely a week away on the high school golf circuit with some teams having already completed the regular season and others set to in the coming days. In a season that goes by in a flash, there’s a lot happening in very little time as championships approach.

“We’ve got our last match of the regular season this week, and then we start the playoffs next Monday with inter-conferences,” said Gardiner head coach Ryan Low. “It goes by quick; it’s a short season that’s over before you know it, and you’ve got to round into form fast.”

If any central Maine team in any sport began the year with sky-high expectations, it was Maranacook golf. The Black Bears won the Class C state championship in 2022, and with their entire lineup back and a summer of golf under their belts, much was anticipated of them in 2023.

Still undefeated, Maranacook has delivered on those expectations. Not only have the Black Bears been winning, they’ve been winning in style; their depth has led to lopsided victories in the Mountain Valley Conference as even the golfers at the end of the lineup have produced remarkable scores.

“We have talent, but we’re also a really deep team this year, which is one of our strengths,” said Maranacook head coach Ryan Meserve. “We had one match this year where we scored 37 out of the No. 6 spot. We’re just fortunate to have that depth across the board where, if one person struggles, someone else steps up.”


Maranacook’s top golfers are shooting lights-out; Wyatt Folsom, the Black Bears’ No. 1 and the 2022 Class C runner-up, and James Marr, their No. 2, have both reached the four-under mark this year. Ben Jewett, Ethan Chilton, Brandon Chilton and Grady Hreben have also sub-40 scores at least once.

“We have eight guys who are averaging 46 or better, so it’s sometimes hard to really crack spots,” Meserve said. “It’s all about who’s going to peak at the right time, and there are some good teams out they’re we’re going to play. MCI has some good players, Kents Hill is always an X-factor, and St. Dom’s is always right there.”

Indeed, MCI has been a force in the early going. The Huskies have both the reigning boys and girls state Class C individual champions in Owen Moore and Jillian Plamondon, and the Huskies’ scores, Meserve said, suggest they could be a big challenger come the postseason.

MCI’s Owen Moore and Jillian Plamondon pose with their Class C championship plaques on Oct. 8, 2022 at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

That postseason is almost here. Central Maine girls qualifiers are scheduled for Sept. 27, at Meadows Golf Club in Litchfield. the MVC and Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championship meets will be held Oct. 2 and Oct. 3, respectively, at Natanis.

Locally, Low said, Cony looks to be among the strongest postseason competitors in Class B with Alex Fournier and Oliver Rodrigue continuing their strides from last season. Yet Low’s Tigers have also been humming along with Jack Quinn and Austin Gould leading the way.

“I think the thing we’ve been most excited about is that we have two of what I think are the better players in central Maine and possibly the entire state,” Low said. “Austin has stepped it up and been the co-medalist at a lot of our matches this year, and having that 1-2 at the top of our lineup has certainly helped.”


In Class A, Messalonskee is looking like the top KVAC Class A team locally. The 7-3 Eagles are a young team that’s shown some inconsistency at times but are led by a remarkable No. 1 in Jacob Moody, who was KVAC A runner-up last season and recently shot a five-under 65 at Waterville Country Club.

Cony’s Oliver Rodrigue tees off during a high school golf match against Maranacook on Aug. 30, 2022 at Natanis Golf Club in Vassalboro. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“Our young players are up and down, which is kind of what you would expect from young players, so we’re just looking for more consistency,” said Messalonskee head coach Gene Dumont. “We’ve got an elite junior player in Jacob, and we’ve got a lot of potential. It’s all about how it shakes out on a given day.”

As a whole, though, the KVAC runs through Brunswick. The Dragons, Dumont said, have remarkable depth and leadership after losing just one senior from last year’s Class A state title-winning team, and it’s shown when his Eagles have faced them in match play this year.

“We played them (Monday), and they just took us to the cleaners in the pouring rain,” Dumont said. “They’re mature, and they have seven players that can shoot in the 70s for 18 holes, which is rare in this part of New England. They can take their game on the road in any kind of weather.”

KVAC division winners will meet Sept. 30 at Brunswick Golf Club to compete in the KVAC Shootout. Brunswick (Class A) and Leavitt (Class B/C) won team championships in the event last year.

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