Warriors return most of last year’s M.L. Freedom division co-championship team

DAVID MELANSON, a junior, was a member of Wakefield’s league co-championship team a year ago and was named a league all-star. He is a candidate to play one of the top positions in the Warrior lineup this fall. (Donna Larsson File Photo)

DAVID MELANSON, a junior, was a member of Wakefield’s league co-championship team a year ago and was named a league all-star. He is a candidate to play one of the top positions in the Warrior lineup this fall. (Donna Larsson File Photo)

Published in the September 4, 2015 edition.


WAKEFIELD — The 2014 Warrior golf team was among the best ever in Wakefield Memorial High history to play on the links. As the 2015 season opener draws closer, the Warriors are seeking to achieve greater success than they did a year ago.

There is plenty of reason for optimism that this year’s squad can do even better as it returns nine of 10 players from a team that posted a 12-5-1 overall record and 8-3-0 record in the Middlesex League Freedom division a year ago, gaining a share of the league championship with Burlington.

The Warriors also finished with the most wins since 1987.

In the Div. 2 North sectional tournament, Wakefield finished sixth overall and did the best of all the M.L. teams that qualified for that sectional.

“We have nine out of 10 players returning,” said Coach Dennis Bisso, who returns for his 16th year. “We had a solid season last year. The boys have worked hard over the summer to improve their games.”

The senior co-captains are Dylan Melanson and Steven Melanson. The two are first cousins.

Dylan Melanson was also a co-captain for the team and a Middlesex League Freedom division All-Star last fall, while Steven Melanson played at number seven and he was tied for most wins on the win with 11.

Two more seniors return with Stephen Marino and Kevin Murray on the roster.

Marino played at number eight last year and he is a three-year returning starter for the Warriors. Murray, meanwhile, is in his second year with the Warriors having played mostly at an alternate position a year ago.

David Melanson, a junior and another first cousin of Dylan and Steven, returns and has been Wakefield’s strongest performer in the preseason. He leads the team in scoring right now and he shot an 80 last year at the North sectional tournament. Melanson played at three or four last year, but moved up into the second spot and was also a league all-star. Right now, he is playing like he will be Wakefield’s number one golfer.

Tim Hurley, a junior, returns and is likely to play in the three or four spot. He played in five and six primarily last year.

Junior Austin Collard is back and he played mostly at five and six a year ago. He won some big matches for the Warriors and was one of Wakefield’s most improved golfers.

Another alternate last fall, junior Justin Sullivan, won several matches for Wakefield a year ago when moved up to a varsity position in the lineup. Bisso expects that he will contend for one of the eight varsity spots this year.

The fifth and final junior is Mike Guanci who returns after playing pretty much at three or four last year. However Guanci is recovering from a shoulder injury and just received clearance to resume full golf activities once again. Bisso expects Guanci to be an alternate for the couple of matches while he works his way back to full strength.

There is one newcomer on the team since there was only one opening due to graduation. Sophomore John Evangelista is the 10th golfer on the roster. He has performed well in tryouts and he has been working hard on his short game.

“We open up the season on Tuesday against Stoneham at Bear Hill where we’ve had our practice matches and where we will have our ladder matches to see where everyone will be to start the season,” said Bisso. “We’re very happy some our home matches at Thomson Country Club. The boys like it up there. We also have time at Bear Hill.

“The way the schedule works this year is that we have 15 matches scheduled with 10 of them being at home,” continued Bisso. “We’re very comfortable at home at both Thomson and Bear Hill. We were undefeated at Thomson last year.”

The Warriors are out to defend their M.L. Freedom division crown. They also want to take it a step further and repeat as champions and do so outright.

“We qualified for the North sectional last year and we would like to improve our position and qualify for states,” said Bisso. “We have that in our sight. We also want to do well in the Middlesex League. The Middlesex League is very good and there are some tough teams. They aren’t going to lay down for us.

“Burlington had the edge playing at home against us last year in our last match,” added Bisso. “This year we have them at home in one of our last matches. We have to take it one match at a time. Having the home field could be a big help for us in many of our matches.”

The Warriors open up the season on Tuesday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. against Stoneham at the Bear Hill Golf Club.