Easties Bringing Experience to the Links This Spring
Senior captain Nick Sorrentino finished with a low total of 43 when the East Haven golf squad earned a 182-228 victory versus Wilbur Cross on April 18. (File photo by Wesley Bunnell/The Courier)
Senior Ethan Roach and the East Haven golf team are sporting a record of 3-2 through their first five matches of the spring season. (File photo by Wesley Bunnell/The Courier)
Senior Norah Rome is in her fourth year as a member of a Yellowjackets’ golf team that features an experienced lineup as it hit the links for the 2022 season. (File photo by Wesley Bunnell/The Courier)
While there are only eight players on its roster this year, every athlete in the East Haven golf team’s lineup is returning from the 2021 campaign. With experience on his squad’s side, Head Coach Ricky Narracci is hoping that the Yellowjackets can continue showing improvement on the links and then take that momentum into the postseason.
East Haven played one match last week when it hosted Wilbur Cross on April 18. The Yellowjackets posted a 182-228 win against the Governors to improve their record to 3-2 on the year. Senior captain Nick Sorrentino earned medalist honors by shooting a low score of 43 for the round. Senior captain Ethan Roach shot a 44, junior Domenic Plano carded a 46, and sophomore Mike Savo finished with a score of 49 for the Easties.
“That was our lowest score this year. It was our second-lowest score in the past two years,” Coach Narracci said. “Our goal is to shoot between 180 and 185. We’ve done that in our last two matches. Both came at our home course, where you tend to shoot better. Hopefully, those scores can carry over to other courses.”
Sorrentino is East Haven’s only captain this season. With the senior being a four-year member of the team, Coach Narracci feels that Sorrentino has all the necessary qualities to be a solid leader. Narracci is looking for Sorrentino’s work off the tee to keep shining as his captain strives to improve his work around the greens.
“He has been on the golf team for four years. It’s the one and only sport he is playing,” said Narracci of Sorrentino. “His strength is his length off the tee. He’s just looking to improve around the green and avoid three-putting.”
Roach is in his second year with the East Haven golf team after recently finishing his career as the goalie for the hockey squad. Narracci said that Roach has made a solid transition into golf and that he expects him to only get better as he gets more rounds under his belt.
Savo broke into the lineup as a freshman last year and has maintained his place as a sophomore. Narracci said that Savo has a nice swing and is showing good potential. Narracci added that he’s hoping Savo will keep improving his swing around the greens and is looking for him to be a player that the Easties lean on this season.
Plano is another member of the Yellowjackets’ lineup. Narracci said that the junior has made major strides during the past few weeks. He added that Plano is a golfer who looks to work on his game and is always open to learning new advice.
Senior Norah Rome is a four-year member of the East Haven golf squad. Coach Narracci said that Rome is a mechanically sound golfer and has the best swing on the team. Rome was also a standout member of East Haven girls’ swimming team and will be continuing her career in the pool at UConn after she graduates.
Coach Narracci has been impressed with the Yellowjackets’ performance early on this season. With his team’s experience, coupled with gradual improvement during the year, Narracci believes that the Easties have what it takes to make it back to the Division II State Championship.
“We’re 3-2 right now, having beaten Lyman Hall, Foran, and North Haven. We’re beating most of the teams in our league,” Narracci said. “We’re ranked 10th in Division II. We have a good shot going back to the State Tournament if we keep playing well.”
Even with many returning golfers, Coach Narracci spent the beginning of the season figuring out East Haven’s lineup. However, beyond just the lineup, Narracci wanted to make sure that each golfer was practicing next to a teammate that would make them feel comfortable on the course.
Roach and Savo, who play hockey together, are one pair. Sorrentino and Plano are another. Rome practices with senior Mike Gagliardi, who is in his first year with the team. The other members of the team are sophomore Nick Vance and freshman Billy Demetriades.
Narracci understands that golf is a hard sport, and he said that the first step to succeeding against an opposing team is practicing in a situation that gives you confidence.
“The chemistry on the team is really good, and that’s an important thing,” said Narracci. “At the beginning of the season, I was juggling around with who is going to play with who. Where they play in the lineup doesn’t matter. Their scores will count either way. But in terms of playing partners, we found our groove now. We’re starting to get a set lineup. It’s a hard game to begin with, but if you’re comfortable with your playing partner, it helps.”
As his team looks to follow through on its postseason goals, Narracci knows that it will take much more than just playing in matches. He’s looking for his players to also work on their skills individually, aside from being on the team. Overall, with a combination of match play and some practice on the side, Narracci feels confident that this year’s squad is bound to improve.
“We just have to keep putting the work in. It takes more than just going out in matches. You have to go on the range on your own and practice with purpose,” Narracci said. “Whether it’s your irons or your driver, you have to do it on your own. It’s tough to work on it in the midst of the tournament. If they do that, and the younger kids do that during the offseason, you’ll see the most improvement.”