Morgan Golf Records Fourth-Place Performance at States
As the Morgan golf team competed in the Division III State Championship, Head Coach Eric Bergman was looking for the Huskies to improve upon their overall ranking of sixth entering the meet. Morgan accomplished that goal by finishing in fourth place when the state competition was held at Fairview Farm Golf Course in Harwinton on June 6.
The Huskies carded a team score of 339 to take fourth place among the 16 clubs that participated at the Division III State Championship. Morgan’s total of 339 was the exact same score that they had recorded when they finished second at this year’s Shoreline Conference Championship.
“We came in ranked No. 6. We knew if we finished top three, that would be quite the achievement,” Coach Bergman said. “Our pregame plan was just to get a little bit better than the last time we played.”
Sophomore CJ Giuliano posted Morgan’s low total of the day by carding a score of 80 for his 18-hole outing at the state meet, finishing in a tie for 11th place. Senior Drew Nye finished in a tie for 17th place for the Huskies with a score of 82 on the round.
Senior captain Nick Schmidt finished in a tie for 29th place by turning a score of 87 for the Huskies at states. Senior Tyler Greenhouse scored a 90 to finish in a tie for 41st place. Junior Raymond Swan finished in a tie for 66th place with a score of 98.
Coach Bergman said that the Huskies’ have a “calm, yet competitive” demeanor about themselves while competing. While they like to keep things loose outside of competition, Bergman’s players know to get locked in and perform to the best of their abilities whenever they hit the links.
“They competed quite well. They played up to our expectations and their own expectations,” said Bergman, whose team went 11-5 in the regular season. “They don’t tend to take themselves too seriously. However, they do take their golf game seriously. It’s a nice paradox. They present themselves as very easygoing, calm, and relaxed. It’s who they are, but at the same time, they’re grinding and working hard.”
Coach Bergman felt that it was a big accomplishment for Morgan to place in the top five at states. He viewed this year’s Huskies’ team as a special club from the outset of the season. Morgan’s fourth-place finish in the state meet showed just how far his players have come both this year and throughout their careers with the program.
“It means quite a lot. This year’s team had a state championship feel to it,” Bergman said. “For us to pull it off, especially with Portland in front of us, everything would have to go right. They’re one of the best programs in the state. But a 339, knowing where these kids came from, is an incredible achievement.”
Morgan’s senior class includes Schmidt, a captain, along with Nye, Greenhouse, and Cole Crowley. Bergman referred to Schmidt as “the face of the team,” saying that the senior captain always thanked opposing coaches and the Huskies’ bus driver, thereby exemplifying the characteristics that the wants to see from everyone in the program.
Bergman has encouraged Greenhouse to pursue teaching or coaching due to the senior’s strong leadership skills. Morgan’s coach added that Nye is a player who “has it all” and that “you hope your kid has the same traits.”
Crowley didn’t participate in states after losing a two-day playoff to Swan that determined who would represent Morgan at the championship. However, rather than sulk, Crowley shook Swan’s hand, congratulated him, and wished his teammates nothing but the best as they prepared to compete in the meet.
Coach Bergman said that all four seniors serve as an excellent representation of the Morgan golf squad. As they graduate from the Huskies, Bergman appreciates how his seniors mentored the younger players, while leaving a lasting legacy on the program.
“Some of these kids came in as freshmen not knowing how to hold a golf club. When I look back, the growth there is immense,” said Bergman. “As far as this season goes, the seniors came in with the right attitude. The seniors took on a mentorship role with the younger players. They left behind quite an impression on the younger players and, honestly, quite a legacy.”
Coach Bergman feels that Morgan’s returning players have what it takes to help the Huskies continue their winning tradition. With the template for success having been set, Bergman said that it’s on them to work hard over the summer in order to fill the shoes of the departing seniors in 2023.
One thing that Bergman was his returning athletes to model their game after is the composure that this year’s team displayed on the course. Rather that let a bad shot bother them, the Huskies were able to find ways to adapt and improve. The ability of Morgan’s players to focus on what they could control, rather than dwell on any negatives, played a huge role in the team’s success this spring.
“They stayed within their game. We’re not great at everything. There are days where not much is working in your game. These guys would adapt. They recognized their deficits, and they compensated appropriately. To me, that’s a sign of a true winner,” Coach Bergman said. “Whereas last year we would have triple bogeys and let their emotions get the best of them, this year, they played within themselves. They played their game.”
As the program moves forward, Coach Bergman wants the Huskies to be viewed as more than just great golfers. Bergman wants his players to be strong individuals and solid role models both on and off the course.
“I want people to look at us and say, ‘That’s the way it should be done,’” said Bergman. “We have not only good players, but good individuals. They’re great human beings, and they’re interesting people who have a lot to offer.”