LYNN– The Lynn Classical golf team just missed the .500 mark with a 7-9 record last season, and to make matters worse, the Rams graduated six significant players this past summer. But now, with a new group of leaders ready to step in, Classical’s looking to keep the momentum moving forward.
“It’s obviously very tough when you lose that many players, especially our entire top line of players,” said Classical coach Jack Morrison, now in his 10th season at the helm. “But we’ve got a group of kids that we think will step up and lead the way, then the rest of the roster is kind of a wait-and-see approach.”
The group of players Morrison thinks will step up is led by senior Travis Ryan, who’s primed to be this season’s No. 1 player for the Rams. Ryan, who’ll be entering his fourth year on the varsity squad and saw significant playing time last season, will be a team captain along with fellow senior Sean Devin. Seniors Brendan Lannon and Brett Bucklin round out the new group of leaders for Classical.
“Not only have these guys played on the team for the past couple of years, but they’re really good athletes,” said Morrison. “I mean, all four of those guys play either baseball, hockey or both, so that tells you all you need to know about their athletic abilities.”
The group has some fairly large shoes to fill, as three of the Rams’ top players from last season — Steve Patrie, Mike Tarasuik and Jake Higgenbottom — all graduated in June.
“It’ll be tough to fill the hole those guys left for sure, they were great players,” Morrison said. “But I think we certainly have the talent around us to be up to the task.”
Morrison knows that having a good group of athletes will certainly help, but the real challenge for this season will be finding quality players to round out the team. He is fortunate, though, that he has a big group of players to choose from.
“We’ve been really fortunate over the past couple years in terms of turnout to start the season,” said Morrison, highlighting that over 20 players showed up for tryouts last week. “We have a big group of guys to look at and we can see who steps up. The good thing about this year is that we also have a JV team now, so even some players who don’t make varsity will still be able to play. At this point, we’re just trying to see who can stand out from the pack.”
It’s been a long road to whittle down that large group of hopefuls, as the Rams held three tryout rounds at Gannon over the course of the past week. Now looking ahead, the Rams will have a full week of practices to prepare for the season opener next Friday.
“We’re just grinding away right now, these guys are working hard,” Morrison said. “On top of that, a lot of these guys have been very active all summer, golfing and playing other sports as well. So I think we’re in a good place going into the year.”
The Rams open the season on Friday, September 7 at 4 p.m. with a match against Saugus at Gannon.