LYNN — The 2017 season was a major step forward for the Classical golf team. The Rams went 12-4, tied for second place in the Northeastern Conference South Division and qualified for the Division 1 state tournament.
Now Classical faces the challenge of carrying the momentum it built last year and repeating that success this season. And the Rams take on that task without their three captains from last season.
“For us that was huge,” Morrison said. “That was the biggest year Classical’s had golf-wise in a long time. We’re not trying to go backwards, we’re trying to maintain. I think the reason we did so well last year was our senior leadership and I’m hoping we get that again this year. The guys that led us last year, Travis Ryan, Sean Devin and AJ Luciano, those guys did tremendous work as captains last year. That was a big part of our success.”
This year’s team returns three talented seniors in Brett Bucklin, Brendan Lannon and Andrew Patrie. The trio will captain this year’s team.
“I’ll be looking for them in a big way,” Morrison said. “We had great success with great leadership last year. We’re looking for that again because it makes a big difference. I feel good, they’re athletes and they play other sports. They know the system. It’s just a matter of them understanding their role as captains but I have confidence in them.”
Junior Tim Nerich also returns to the team after a solid sophomore season in 2017.
“Tim had a great year last year as a sophomore,” Morrison said. “We’re looking for him to do more of the same.”
Also projected to play key roles are junior Luke Rao and sophomore Kyle McCarthy.
“They saw limited action last year but we’ll be looking for them to step up this year,” Morrison said.
Classical started tryouts last week and numbers were strong with 23 hopefuls participating in hopes of making the cut. The Rams will field a junior varsity team this season.
“We’ve had 20+ for the fourth year in a row,” Morrison said. “It’s going strong. This will be our second year with a junior varsity program. That’s critical because it keeps the kids’ interest. We’re on a good run with kids coming out and that’s always a healthy situation.”
Morrison said he’s seen positive signs through the early going but the Rams have plenty of work to do moving forward. Focus and discipline could be the keys to Classical’s season.
“We have a long way to go,” Morrison said. “We’re not ready yet. In order for us to compete, they have to play smart and minimize their mistakes. We’re getting focused and disciplined in tryouts. Golf is a hard game but we need that focus and discipline. Once they get their minds right, we’ll have a chance.”
Classical opens the season Tuesday against Saugus.
“They’re excited, which is a good thing,” Morrison said. “They’ve been working hard. We have to play good golf and be smart to be successful. We’re working hard to keep up the success we had last year.”