VASSALBORO — New courses and a new conference haven’t stopped the Maranacook golf team from putting forth another dominant season in 2023.

In fact, the Black Bears have been even more dominant in the Mountain Valley Conference, a conference of which they became champions last week. They conquered it further Monday with a team victory in the conference’s state championship qualifier at Natanis Golf Course.

Maranacook shot 331 as a team to edge Kents Hill (350) for the team title. The Black Bears and Huskies both qualified for Saturday’s Class C state championship back at Natanis, as did Monmouth Academy (361), Maine Central Institute (364) and Spruce Mountain (368).

“We have a really good group of guys who support each other and have played together for a while now, and we’re used to a lot of consistency out of them,” said Maranacook head coach Ryan Meserve. “We don’t always start great or finish great, but in the end, our team knows how to put it together, and we did today.”

Wyatt Folsom was Maranacook’s top scorer, finishing with an 18-hole 77 to finish second overall to MCI’s Owen Moore (74). Ethan Chilton (84), Brandon Chilton (85) and Ben Jewet (85)  rounded out the scores for the Black Bears, who also got an 88 from James Marr and a 95 from Keegan McClure.

Big things were expected of Maranacook this season after returning virtually its entire lineup from last year’s Class C state title-winning team. The unbeaten Black Bears have lived up to those expectations thus far, and although Folsom said the team could have played better on this day, their depth helped them persevere.


“I think we played all right; we had a couple guys who didn’t have the best days, me included, but we played our way through it,” Folsom said. “The great thing about our team is that if there’s a day where someone doesn’t play their best, there’s always someone else to pick up the slack. It’s nice to have that 1-6 depth.”

The biggest challenge Monday, Folsom said, were the difficult greens on Natanis’ Arrowhead course. Maranacook’s top scorer said it took a little bit to settle into how the greens were playing on this warm October day, but after doing so, the Black Bears will have a better feel for the course when they return this weekend.

Winthrop’s Colton Baird putts on the third hole during the MVC Qualifier on Monday at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

“These greens can be tricky; they don’t break as much as you think, some of them are a lot quicker, and some of the pins are tough,” Folsom said. “We’re just trying to fine-tune some things to get ourselves ready for Saturday, and hopefully, we can come back and shoot pretty low.”

Kents Hill pushed Maranacook behind Amelie Zachrisson, who was the top girls finisher at 84, tying Ethan Chilton for third overall. The Huskies were plenty consistent elsewhere with Kody Yancey shooting 88 and Ben Chapdelaine, Emilien Goudreault and Zachary Tsatas all finishing with 89.

Kents Hill was allowed to participate in the tournament despite not being an MVC team, as did KVAC member MCI. Like Kents Hill, MCI took advantage with Moore finishing as medalist, Joseph Parker shooting 85, Carter Kennedy shooting 95 and Jillian Palamdon posting a 110.

“I came in thinking, ‘It’s your last year, so just have fun and don’t be too hard on yourself,’” said Moore, the reigning individual state champ in Class C. “I’m really proud of our whole team because we’ve worked really hard throughout the whole season. I’m glad we could make it, and now, we’ll be back here on Saturday.”


Carter O’Connell (86), Riley Inch (87), Reese Beaudoin (93) and Kyle Bryant (95) all scored for Monmouth. Spruce Mountain, which had won the past two MVC titles before Marancook dethroned it last week, had a top four of Alex Grimaldi (86), Daxtyn Poisson (88), Ben Burgess (97) and Jazmine Pingree (97).

Meserve expects challenges from many of those players and teams Saturday. Kents Hill, he noted, has the potential to play even better, and MCI and St. Dominic Academy could also push the 2022 Class C champs.

“You need to get some bounces the right way, you need a few putts to drop, and you have to hope you get more of those than the other schools,” Meserve said. “There’s some good schools out there, so I think it could be pretty close. It should be good competition.”

Elsewhere in the field, Colton Baird shot an 89 for Winthrop, which finished with a team total of 427 to place just below the qualifying line. Madison (458), Dirigo (472), Oak Hill (489) and Mountain Valley (574) rounded out the scoring for the 10-team tournament.

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