Messalonskee’s Jacob Moody chips onto the 16th green during the Class A golf state championships Oct. 9 at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

It was true across every level of play throughout the 2023 season: If there was a big match, a central Maine golfer was in contention.

Yes, local golfers were right up there with the state’s best this year. From the opening tee-off to the final hole of the state championships, local golfers showed that central Maine has a wealth of talent that will keep the area going strong on the state’s courses for years to come.

“It’s pretty impressive,” said Gardiner head coach Ryan Low. “We’ve been able to play against some of the top players this year, and the competition has been exceptional. It’s remarkable how good junior golf is not just here in central Maine but all across the state.”

In Class A, Messalonskee put forth an outstanding season. The Eagles excelled in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference A championships, shooting 332 to finish second only to Brunswick’s 311 in the 11-team field. They would go on to place sixth in the Class A state championships.

Messalonskee did so with one of the best golfers in the state in Jacob Moody. The senior was the medalist in the KVAC Class A championships, shooting a 71. He then shot a 72 at states to claim second place, finishing a single stroke behind Brunswick’s Will Farschon.

“(Jacob) had a very consistent year, and quite frankly, that’s what we expected from him,” said Messalonskee head coach Gene Dumont. “He’s one of the most consistent players I’ve ever had. He played in the New England individual tournament in Connecticut for the second year in a row, which is impressive.”


In addition to Moody, Matt Fulling, Garrett Giguere, Donovan Hermann, Gavin Jackson and Liam McFadden were also selected to the all-KVAC team for Messalonskee. Eddie Goff (eighth at KVACs with an 82) and Lydia Jones were both all-KVAC Class A selections for Skowhegan.

Alex Grant of Nokomis chips onto the green during the Class B golf state championships Oct. 6 at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro. David Leaming photo

Although Messalonskee will miss Moody next year, things are still shaping up for the Eagles to be a strong program in the future. The team had a large roster with a combined 28 varsity and junior varsity golfers, and with 23 of them set to return, Dumont believes the team’s foundation is solid.

“Liam was playing No. 3 as a sophomore this year, and Gavin was playing No. 4 as a freshman,” Dumont said. “They’re both going to be top-notch players in the state for the next couple years. They’re playing tournament golf, and in my opinion, they’ll be two of the best young players in the state next year.”

In Class B? Well, central Maine was loaded. Nokomis won the KVAC Class B championship and battled Yarmouth and Freeport for the state title, ultimately placing third. Cony, Lawrence and Gardiner rounded out the top four in KVAC B, all advancing to the state championships.

Alex Grant had a solid season for Nokomis, shooting a 77 in both the Class B KVAC and state championships and placing fourth in the latter, while S.J. Welch shot an impressive 74 in the former. Their performances at KVACs put them in stiff competition with Lawrence’s Matt Quigley, who shot a 75.

Cony also enjoyed a remarkable year, going 10-0 in regular season play before the runner-up finish in KVAC B. Alex Fournier shot an 81 in both the conference and state championship meets with Oliver Rodrigue shooting an 82 and an 81, respectively, and Matt Boston shooting an 85 at KVACs.


No local duo, though, was better than Gardiner’s Jack Quinn and Austin Gould. Quinn, a sophomore, was the KVAC and state runner-up with respective scores of 74 and 73, and Gould, a junior, shot a 78 in both events to help pace the Tigers to their second straight appearance in the Class B state championships.

MCI’s Heidi Dechaine tees off on the third hole during the Central Maine girls golf qualifier Sept. 28 at The Meadows Golf Club in Litchfield. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“Those two really stepped it up this year,” Low said. “Having this conversation last year, I felt that I had two of the best golfers in central Maine, and I’ll say it again this year. … Having two top-six performances (at states) in back-to-back years for our team is something I’m super excited about.”

Maranacook fell three strokes short of repeating as Class C state champion, but still enjoyed a solid season, winning the Mountain Valley Conference title in its first year in the new league. Wyatt Folsom led the Black Bears, shooting 77 to win the MVC meet and 79 at states.

“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,” Maranacook head coach Ryan Meserve said after MVC qualifiers. “We don’t always start great or finish great, but in the end, our team knows how to put it together.”

Kents Hill also had a strong season, finishing three strokes back to runner-up Maranacook to contend for the Class C state title. The Huskies’ Amelie Zachrisson and Monmouth Academy’s Reese Beaudoin both shot 89s to tie for second place in the Class C girls championships.

For Maine Central Institute, Owen Moore shot a 75 to tie for second in Class C. He also claimed first place in the MVC qualifier with a 74 as the KVAC Huskies made an honorary appearance in a competitive meet with Kents Hill, Monmouth and champion Maranacook.

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.