Melrose (5-1-1) on verge on clinch league, trip to States
Published in the October 5, 2018 edition
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE—Don’t look now, but the Melrose Red Raider golf team may be the next Middlesex Freedom League champions.
Last week, Melrose continued their winning streak and improved to a 5-1-1 record after defeating perennial powerhouse Winchester on Wednesday, Sept. 26 by a score of 37-35. It’s been nearly a decade since Melrose has beaten the Sachems, a team who went deep in state competition last season, and boast one of the best players in the state.
Thus, it’s an achievement that longtime head coach Rick McDermod saluted his players for. “Winchester is always a tough team. Our kids rose to the occasion and made every hole count.”
One of those efforts was from freshman Thomas Brodeur, who prevailed 7.5-1.5. against his opponent which offset lost points for Melrose and lifted the team to victory. “Holy, moly did Thomas save us,” says the coach. “He’s become our secret weapon. He was up four and instead of letting his performance dip, he stayed on cruise control. He has just become better and better as the season goes on.”
Winchester boasted their #1 shooter, Trevor Lopez in the first spot. And while Melrose lost in the top spot on Wednesday, they earned critical ties in the 2-3 spots to help keep Melrose in the game. That included Quinn McCarthy who had a 4.5-4.5 draw against his Sachem #2 opponent and Jay Tucci who also battled a critical 4.5-4.5 tie. Melrose’s Sean Senior took a critical win in the #4 spot at 5.5-3.5 and Will Goodwin prevailed 5-5-3.5. With a Tim Healey tie (4.5-4.5) all eyes were on Brodeur in the #7 spot to earn enough points to flip the script in Melrose’s favors. Mission accomplished.
On Wed. Sept 27 Melrose took part in the 2018 Middlesex League Shooutout where sophomore Will Pierce placed second overall for Melrose, shooting a very strong 76. Pierce is a golfer that McDermott is thrilled to have for on the team for two more seasons. “He and Quinn [Haggerty] have a huge future and will help keep this team very competitive. I can’t ask for more, they face some of the best in the state. It will be their time very soon.”
If Melrose beats Wakefield on Wednesday (post deadline) they clinch the Freedom League and a spot in the MIAA tournament. Until then, each practice has been productive and a great sign of things to come. And even as they enjoy their best season in years, this team is no flash in the pan. With sharp upperclassmen and a host of talented underclassmen, it is clear that the future is bright.
“We have so many skilled players, I’m excited to see how they grow in this program,” says the coach.