THE MELROSE High golf team is on the verge of clinching the ML Freedom League. (Jen Gentile photo)

have Melrose on cusp of league title


MELROSE—The Melrose High golf team is heading to States.

On Tuesday, Oct. 11, Melrose earned a 36-36 tie against Reading which gave them the point they needed to officially qualify to compete at States which will be held next week on Oct. 19 at the Bradford Country Club. They followed that effort with a home win over Burlington on Tuesday.

Melrose is a frequent flyer at States and advanced to the finals in 2019. One year after COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the event, Melrose is glad to be back in a post season. Additionally, the Red Raiders remain undefeated in the Middlesex Freedom League at 4-0 and could wrap up another league title if they beat remaining competitor Stoneham this week.

Tuesday’s tie against Reading was preceded by one of their most impressive wins to date: a 41-31 victory over the visiting Lexington Minutemen, who traveled to Bellevue Golf Club on Oct. 7 and fell to the Red Raiders. Melrose enjoyed wins from Pat Cotter, Jason Pino, Brian Healy, Roddy McGillicuddy and Dom Lamentea. Andrew Izzi enjoyed a 4.5-4.5 tie.

“It was a great win and I thought every player looked sharp out there,” says Melrose coach Rick McDermod. “And it was great to play at Bellevue, which was in great shape.”

Melrose’s top of the lineup, Patrick Cotter, AJ Dell Isola, Jason Pino and Brian Healy, are enjoying strong seasons. Pino remains one of Melrose’s most consistent shooters with a record of 6-1-2. McDermod also credits his 5-8 players for picking up points along the way. “They’ve been producing,” he confirms.

One thing he’d like the team to focus on is first hole prepardness. “Sometimes they play a little shaky, like they’re just rolling out of bed,” he quips. “We have to be prepared from start to finish.”

The Red Raider 8—Pat Cotter, AJ Dell Isola, Jason Pino, Brian Healy, Roddy McGillicuddy, Matthew Fuccione, Dom Lamentea and Andrew Izzi—will be vying for spots at States. Six of the eight players can attend the post season event. Intersquad play will likely determine the faces that go.

“I heard that Bradford is a pretty difficult course to play on,” notes McDermod. “We hope to get some tee time up there this week to do a practice run.”

As for their chances of taking the league. “It all depends on how these other teams have done against both the Middlesex small and large teams. We have to beat Stoneham first,” confirms the coach.

Melrose’s final regular season match is slated for this Thursday afternoon (post deadline) against Stoneham at Bellevue Golf Club.

Stay tuned.